Sunlight and Tanning-Lamp Exposure Reduces the Risk of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Sunlight and Tanning-Lamp Exposure Reduces the Risk of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–


Sunlight exposure has been shown to correlate to a reduced risk of numerous cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but results with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) are mixed. The most recent research shows that there is an inverse correlation between HL and the highest vs. lowest lifetime, childhood and adulthood experience with the following three factors: sunlight exposure, sun-lamp exposure, and sunburn. [1] The pooled analysis showed an odds ratio of .56, or in other words, a 44% reduced risk of contracting the disease. 

Two items particularly stand out in this research: (1) Sun-lamp use correlated to a reduced risk of the diseasea positive result for the much maligned tanning industry—and (2) sunburn also correlated to a reduced risk. Of course, no one would recommend sun-burning; it simply serves a surrogate measurement for a high degree of sunlight exposure. Sunlight exposure can easily be used in high quantities—without burning—by moving out of the sun when the skin begins to redden and then coming back later after the skin has adjusted and started to tan.

This research once again points out the efficacy of sunlight in reducing cancer. Don’t expect the American Academy of Dermatology to mention this vital information in their next newsletter!

[1] Monnereau A, Glaser SL, Schupp CW, Ekström Smedby K, de Sanjosé S, et al. Exposure to UV radiation and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma: a pooled analysis. Blood 2013;122(20):3492-9


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