Having a previous history of skin cancer has been found to have a surprisingly positive impact on the risks for pancreatic cancer. Being exposed to high levels of UV radiation, having sun-sensitive skin, and having a history of skin cancer all reduce the risk of developing cancer of the pancreas.
Research conducted in Australia comparing age, sex, socio-demographic information, medical history and skin type/propensity to sunburn of over 700 people was presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference. Rachel Neale, one of the researchers of the study, stated that “Several ecological studies… have suggested that people living in areas with high sun exposure have lower risk for pancreatic cancer…”
Dr Neale’s study found that those participants born in areas with the highest levels of UV radiation had a 24% lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those participants born in areas with low levels of UV radiation. The research also discovered that participants with a history of skin cancer were 40% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer and that those people with the most sun-sensitive skin had an incredible 49% lower risk.
However, the researchers point out that people must still be very aware of the risks of prolonged sun exposure and that instead, people should be advised on the importance of vitamin D.