Could tomatoes reduce the risk of skin cancer?

Jan 16, 2019 | Skin Treatments

When it comes to cancer, there is so much information in magazines and online platforms, it can often feel overwhelming.

But, a fairly recent study piqued our interest because it dealt specifically with skin cancer, a disease so common in Australia.

Researchers at Ohio State University in the United States found that a diet rich in tomatoes cut the development of skin cancer tumours in half in a study performed on mice. The study, which focused on the ways in which nutritional interventions can affect the risk for skin cancer, was published online in the journal Scientific Reports.

Read on to find out more about how the study was conducted, and what the findings could mean…

What did the study involve?

The study, which was performed on mice, found that those that were fed a diet that consisted of 10 percent tomato powder every day for 35 weeks and then exposed to ultraviolet light, experienced a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumours compared with the mice who were not given any tomato powder.

The researchers believe that the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their colour could protect the skin from UV damage. Interestingly, however, the tomato powder only appeared to have an effect on male mice, while the female mice showed no significant difference when it came to the number and size of their tumours.

What do the findings mean?

More research is required, but the researchers believe that it is possible that the consumption of certain foods can alter the development of some diseases, like cancer. The team at Ohio State University continue to investigate food compounds that could have significant health benefits.

Why is it relevant?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. In fact, almost half of the adult population will have at least one form of skin cancer in their lifetime. There are three main kinds of skin cancer, each of which generally requires some form of surgical intervention. We are determined to help prevent and treat skin cancer for our sun-loving patients here in Melbourne.

We highly recommend regular skin surveillance to ensure that skin cancer does not progress, as more than 95 percent of skin cancers can be cured if they are treated early.

Mr David Morgan provides skin cancer treatments, including removal and reconstruction. To find out more, have a look here. To make an appointment, please get in touch.