Compared with those who ate hardly any fish, the group that ate the most — on average 10 ounces, or about three servings, per week — had 22 percent more cases of malignant melanoma, the researchers found.
It’s not clear why eating fish might affect a person’s risk of developing melanoma, said Eunyoung Cho, an associate professor of dermatology at Brown University and the lead author of the study. “We believe it’s not fish per se, but probably some contaminant in fish,” she said. Other studies have found that people who eat more fish have higher levels of heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic in the body. These same contaminants are also associated with a higher risk of skin cancer, she noted. However, her study didn’t measure contaminant levels in participants, and more research is needed to explore this link, she said.
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