Breast Cancer Prevention Fit for the Beach

woman beachGood news for anyone heading to the beach or pool this weekend to soak up the rays! Just three hours in the sun a day can cut risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent. Whoa.

Researchers have been testing to see if regular exposure to the sun's rays can have a powerful anti-cancer effect. We all know the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in the skin, which is good for many reasons -- like keeping us seasonal depression-free, and there's also some news about it having an effect on weight loss. But this new study suggests that breast cells are capable of converting vitamin D into a hormone that has anti-cancer properties.


The results, which were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that women who had at least 21 hours a week of exposure to the sun's UV rays in their teens were 29 percent less likely to get cancer than those getting under an hour a day.

Even as women aged, spending time outside in their 40s and 50s, the risk fell by 26 percent. But for women over 60, sunny days HALVED their chances of a tumor.

Although this particular study may simply have shown a result that was correlated -- vs. caused (more sun definitely = less breast cancer) -- the findings are still pretty amazing and interesting. Play in the sun all day, keep breast cancer at bay? That's something I could definitely live with.

What do you think about this study?


Image via Hamner_Fotos/Flickr

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