Study may explain link between proper body weight, ability to combat skin cancer

November 7, 2006

Piscataway, N.J. - New research suggests that keeping slim may help prevent skin cancer.

Piscataway, N.J.-New research suggests that keeping slim may help prevent skin cancer.

Researchers at Rutgers University here conducted tests on mice-some of which had fat surgically removed, while others were encouraged to exercise on a running wheel-with a form of non-melanoma skin cancer and found that the thinner rodents were better able to fight the disease. Both the surgically slimmed and exercising mice displayed increased levels of cancer cell death.

Recent studies have shown that there is a link between diet and cancer: Overweight people, for example, have a higher risk of cancer, though the reasons are not fully understood.

The study authors write that the Rutgers research suggests that “fat cells secrete substances that inhibit apoptosis in cells with DNA damage, and possibly also in tumors.”

The study was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.