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Pomegranate prevents, antibiotic causes skin cancer - study

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By Jimmy Downs

Wednesday Oct 3, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in British Journal of Dermatology confirms that ultraviolet rays, particularly UVB rays, are the leading risk factor for skin cancer. UV rays are recognozed as a human carcinogen.

Esther De Vries of Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and colleagues conducted the study and found that in addition to UV rays, certain drugs and foods are either positively or negatively associated with risk of skin cancer.

The case-control study was based on data from 409 patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC - a type of skin cancer), 602 with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 360 with cutaneous malignant melanoma and 1550 controls who were admitted for various health conditions to  multiple hospitals in Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Scotland and Spain for treatment.

The researchers found sun exposure was most strongly positively associated with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) risk and naevi and atypical naevi with cutaneous malignant melanoma risk.

Those who used ciprofloxacin - an antibiotic, were at 67 percent decreased risk for basal cell carcinoma skin cancer whereas people who used thiazide diuretics were 66 percent more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

Additionally, consumption of pomegranate, rich in antioxidants, was found associated with decreased risk for both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer.  The association was significant even after adjustment for multiple testing.

Skin cancer, particularly, cutaneous malignant melanoma was associated with recent stressful events, according to the study.

Another recent study suggests that taking curcumin dietary supplement or using it as a spice can reduce risk of skin cancer.

Skin cancer in most cases is nonlethal.  But melanoma, a type skin cancer is highly deadly.  While sun exposure or UV rays are known to be a carcinogen that causes skin cancer, people should keep in mind that avoiding sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to much more serious cancers including breast cancer.
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