Higher fish consumption associated with increased risk of malignant melanoma in US, study suggests

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A brand new examine warns consuming larger quantities of tuna and non-fried fish seems to be related to a better chance of malignant melanoma and state zero melanoma, in line with a current report printed within the journal Most cancers Causes and Management.

“This examine is necessary as a result of it’s very giant and it’s potential by design, which means that fish consumption was assessed earlier than the event of most cancers,” mentioned writer Eunyoung Cho, an affiliate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown College. 

“Though fish consumption has elevated within the U.S. and Europe in current many years, the outcomes of earlier research investigating associations between fish intake and melanoma danger have been inconsistent — our findings have recognized an affiliation that requires additional investigation.”

The Brown College researchers discovered a median every day fish consumption of 42.eight grams (1.5 ounces) in comparison with a median every day fish consumption of three.2 grams (.11 ounces) had a 22% larger danger of malignant melanoma and a 28% elevated danger of growing stage zero most cancers, in any other case referred to as melanoma in situ, the place irregular cells are solely within the outer layer of the pores and skin, the examine’s launch famous.


The American Most cancers Society says melanoma is the fifth most typical most cancers within the U.S., with a lifetime danger of two.6% for White individuals, zero.1% for Black individuals and zero.6% for Hispanic individuals.  

Contemporary tuna sandwich with lettuce and tomato

“A serving size of cooked fish is roughly 140-170 grams (5-6 ounces); a can of tuna is 142 grams (5 ounces),” the discharge mentioned.

The examine recruited 491,367 adults from throughout the U.S. to the Nationwide Most cancers Institute’s NIH-AARP Weight-reduction plan and Well being Research between 1995 and 1996, with a mean age of 62 among the many members.

The examine analyzed the portion dimension and the way continuously the members ate three varieties of fish: 1) fried fish, 2) non-fried fish and three) tuna throughout the earlier 12 months.

Utilizing most cancers registries, the researchers tracked the incidence of recent melanomas over a median interval of 15 years, whereas accounting for different components that might affect the outcome, similar to sociodemographic components, smoking history, family history of cancer, every day consumption of alcohol, every day consumption of caffeine and energy, and the typical ultraviolet radiation ranges in every participant’s native space, per the discharge. 

5,034 members (1%) developed malignant melanoma whereas three,284 (zero.7%) developed stage zero melanoma, per the discharge. 

Though the examine didn’t present vital associations between consuming fried fish and the danger of malignant melanoma or stage zero melanoma, the researchers discovered larger consumption of non-fried fish and tuna was related to an elevated danger of malignant melanoma and stage zero melanoma.

Grilled Salmon Skewers from Fulton Fish Market

Grilled Salmon Skewers from Fulton Fish Market
(Fulton Fish Market)

However the authors notice the examine has some limitations, together with the analyses didn’t account for sure danger components for melanoma, together with mole depend, hair color or history of sun-related behaviors.


One other limitation was the examine might not have had a whole illustration of the members’ lifetime weight loss plan as a result of their common every day fish consumption was calculated solely initially of the examine.

And since it’s an observational examine, it couldn’t conclude a causal hyperlink between fish consumption and melanoma danger.

“We speculate that our findings may presumably be attributed to contaminants in fish, similar to polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury,” Cho mentioned. 

Tiffany Keene says her son Cruz, 9, is a seafood lover, which is why she incorporated a shrimp and lobster wrap into his golden birthday lunch box.

Tiffany Keene says her son Cruz, 9, is a seafood lover, which is why she integrated a shrimp and lobster wrap into his golden birthday lunch field.
(Tiffany Keene)

“Earlier analysis has discovered that larger fish consumption is related to larger ranges of those contaminants inside the physique and has recognized associations between these contaminants and a higher risk of skin cancer. Nevertheless, we notice that our examine didn’t examine the concentrations of those contaminants in members’ our bodies and so additional analysis is required to verify this relationship.”


The researchers don’t advocate any adjustments to fish consumption, however recommend extra analysis is required to find out if sure elements of fish, notably the contaminants like mercury, are contributing to the affiliation between fish consumption and melanoma danger.

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