Eating two servings of fish weekly increases skin cancer risk: Study

By Pranali Mehta  | Date: 2022-06-11

Eating two servings of fish weekly increases skin cancer risk: Study

A new study conducted by US-based Brown University, has reportedly found a link between eating two portions of fish in a week to a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

According to the UK National Health Service, consuming two portions of fish per week is recommended for a balanced diet, with one portion being an oily fish weighing approximately 140g (4.9oz).

However, the researchers at Brown University are now warning that it could be putting people at a greater risk of developing malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

The study involved 491,367 adults of ages around 62 years in the US, who reported how often they ate tuna, fried fish, and non-fried fish, in the past year and their portion sizes. Other factors, such as the participant’s weight, family history of cancer, and smoking and drinking habits, which could influence the results were also considered.

With the help of the data taken from cancer registries, researchers were able to calculate the frequency of melanoma cases which developed over a course of 15 years.

The results showed that 0.7% of the people developed stage 0 melanoma, while 1% of them developed malignant melanoma.

Those with a usual intake of 42.8g (1.5oz) of fish in a day—around 300g (10.58oz) a week—were found to be at a 22% higher risk of developing malignant melanoma than those with a daily intake of just 3.2g (0.113oz).

It was also found that those who ate more fish had a 28% higher chance of developing abnormal cells in their skin’s outer layer, referred to as pre-cancer and also known as melanoma in situ or stage 0 melanoma.

Although no significant link was found between skin cancer and eating fried fish, having 17.8g (0.63oz) was associated with a 25% higher risk of developing stage 0 melanoma, and an 18% higher risk of malignant melanoma, in comparison to having only 0.3g.

Additionally, people with a daily intake of 14.2g of tuna, instead of 0.3g, were found to be at 20% more risk.

Eunyoung Cho, study author, stated that the team believes that its findings can be attributed to contaminants in fish, such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, and arsenic.

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Pranali Mehta

Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta has dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in the chemicals industry for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience...

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