Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Lifestyle Factors Possibly Associated With Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2021

Risk factors including high body mass index (BMI), male gender, age older than 55, and lack of physical activity were all associated with an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers. Concetta Potenza, MD, of Sapienza University of Rome, and her colleagues published their case-control study results in Nutrients.

“Our study indicates that practicing more than 30 minutes of physical activity daily could be a protective factor against the non-melanoma skin cancer onset,” concluded the authors.

The study authors focused on 162 patients with non-melanoma skin cancer and 164 clinically healthy patients without non-melanoma skin cancer as controls. Patients were interviewed regarding their age, gender, work activity, health status, medications, smoking habits, physical activity, and dietary habits. Eating habits were assessed using the validated food frequency questionnaire, which assessed consumption of 12 items corresponding to the 12 characteristics of the Mediterranean diet: carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, milk, extra virgin olive oil, white meat, red meat, sausages, fish, eggs, legumes, and sweets.

Male gender and age up to 55 were both found to be associated with a higher risk of development of non-melanoma skin cancer (P > .05). Approximately 1% of patients in the non-melanoma skin cancer group had BMIs in the underweight range; 31%, in the normal weight range; 44%, overweight; and 20%, grade I obesity. In comparison, 52% were normal weight, 29% were overweight, and 15% had grade I obesity, indicating that patients in the skin cancer group were more likely to be overweight (P < .001). Patients who adhered to the Mediterranean diet more closely had a lower risk of developing skin cancers as well. Within the non-melanoma skin cancer cohort, 20.4% of patients reported practicing physical activity for more than 30 minutes a day, compared with 36.6% of patients in the control group.

There were no significant differences seen between groups in terms of smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and metabolic panel lab results.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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