Can sun exposure cause breast cancer?


Question from Borewyler: I used to tan all the time. Five years ago, I stopped. Could the excess of sun exposure that I had cause my breast cancer at such a young age?
Answers - Mary Gail Mercurio There is no evidence linking sun exposure to the development of breast cancer. Unfortunately, the tanning that we all did in the past is cumulative and our skin remembers, even if we have now come to our senses. So it is important to watch for the development of skin cancer, but this would be unrelated to the development of breast cancer.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Whenever you get breast cancer, but particularly when it happens at a young age, it seems so unfair and unexplainable. Why does such a mean disease affect anyone? To read more about risk factors for breast cancer, including special risk factors in younger women, such as the breast cancer gene abnormalities, see our section on breast cancer Risk.
Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph. This is a great opportunity for all of us to remind ourselves to watch our children in the sun.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2001, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called No Hair, New Hair, Skin Care. Mary Gail Mercurio, M.D., Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions on the physical side effects of breast cancer treatment, and what you can do about them.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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