A new study by scientists from the University of Buffalo and the University of Puerto Rico in the US reveals that sunlight reduces the risk of breast cancer.
The researchers used a chromometer for a comparative study of the factors that control pigmentation of the skin in sunlight and non-sun conditions. A general idea of sunlight exposure is given based on the difference in pigmentation of the skin. This study, done in Puerto Rico, was published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Jo L. Freudenheim, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Buffalo, said that Puerto Rico received a lot of sunshine throughout the year and people have many variations in the colour of their skin. He added that some evidence suggests that sun exposure reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Freudenheim further explained that a phase in this is associated with the internal production of Vitamin D in the body under sunlight. He said that sunlight is helpful for the body in many ways. These include inflammation, obesity and its effect on the circadian system, that is, the body’s internal clock. In recent times, it has been advised to avoid sunlight to prevent skin cancer, but protecting yourself from sunburn and sitting in sunlight is beneficial in many ways.
What was found in the study?
The earlier studies regarding sunlight and breast cancer were conducted in places where the change in ultraviolet radiation according to the season was very low. But in Puerto Rico, there is continuous exposure to high ultraviolet radiation to the people going out of the house.
Cruz M. Nazario, professor of epidemiology at the University of Puerto Rico and first author of the research, said that the study found similar results on different parameters. He added that the risk of breast cancer was less in women who stayed more in the sun. Similarly, participants who had darker skin tone had lower exposure to the oestrogen receptor.