People with a history of skin cancer may want to cut back on the amount of fat they eat to reduce their risk recurring skin cancer, according to a new study from Australia.
In this current study, researchers looked at the diets of 457 men and 600 women living in the sub-tropical area of Queensland, Australia. They recorded their daily intake of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from meats, fried foods, bread spreads and cooking oils.
Queensland, Australia is an area with high exposure to ultraviolet sunlight and high incidence of skin cancer.
During the 11-year follow up, 394 of the study participants developed 899 skin cell tumors.
No significant association between the daily amount of fat consumed and overall risk of new skin cancers was found. However, in the subjects with a prior history of skin cancer, higher total fat intake was associated with about a two-fold increased risk of squamous cell cancer of the skin.
Squamous cell skin cancer occurs when cells under the top layer of the skin start to change. It generally spreads faster than basal cell skin cancer which affects the top epidermis layer of the skin.
These findings, published in the October 2009 issue of the International Journal of Cancer, supports the growing body of literature which shows that people with prior skin cancer do not benefit from a high-fat diet.
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