Life course sun exposure and risk of prostate cancer: population-based nested case-control study and meta-analysis.
Gilbert R., Metcalfe C., Oliver SE., Whiteman DC., Bain C., Ness A., Donovan J., Hamdy F., Neal DE., Lane JA., Martin RM.
There is currently no means of primary prevention for prostate cancer. Increased exposure to ultraviolet-radiation may be protective, but the literature is inconclusive. We investigated associations of life course exposure to sunlight with prostate cancer. The study design was a UK-wide nested case-control study, based on 1,020 prostate specific antigen-detected cases and 5,044 matched population controls and a systematic review with meta-analysis. Men with olive/brown skin (OR = 1.47; 95% CI: 1.00 to 2.17), men who burnt rarely/never (OR = 1.11; 0.95 to 1.29) and men with the lowest levels of intense sun exposure in the 2 years prior to diagnosis (OR = 1.24; 1.03 to 1.50) had an increased prostate cancer risk. However, amongst men with prostate cancer, spending less time outside was associated with a reduced risk of advanced cancer (OR = 0.49; 0.27 to 0.89) and high Gleason grade (OR = 0.62; 0.43 to 0.91), and men who burnt rarely/never had a reduced risk of advanced cancer (OR = 0.71; 0.47 to 1.08). The meta-analysis provided weak evidence that men with the lowest (versus highest) sunlight exposure had an increased prostate cancer risk (4 studies, random-effects pooled relative risk = 1.13; 0.98 to 1.29) and higher advanced or fatal prostate cancer risk (6 studies, random-effects pooled relative risk = 1.14; 0.98 to 1.33). Our data and meta-analyses provide limited support for the hypothesis that increased exposure to sunlight may reduce prostate cancer risk. The findings warrant further investigation because of their implications for vitamin D chemoprevention trials.