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Study: lack of sunlight linked to cancer risk

A new study suggests there is a link between lack of sunlight and an increased risk for lung cancer. There are more than 1.3 million cases of lung worldwide each year, but a new study suggests those in sunny regions enjoy a reduced lung cancer risk. Researchers from the University of California at San Diego examined lung cancer rates for more than 100 countries around the world. They found that countries located near the equator, where there's lots of sun, generally had lower rates of lung cancer compared to countries located away from the equator. So lung cancer rates for men in warm countries such as Brazil and Chile were half that of northern countries such as the United States, Canada, and Russia. Rates for women showed a similar trend. Researchers theorize that the sun lowers rates of lung cancer by triggering more vitamin D production with its ultra violet rays. So doctors recommend that people get some sunlight - around 15 minutes per day -- to ensure healthy vitamin D levels, but they also stress not to get more sun because high exposure to ultra violet rays increases the risk for skin cancer.

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