According to an investigation published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, antiestrogen supplements may lower the risk of women with breast cancer developing melanoma. The Swiss Research Foundation against Cancer, a nonprofit group, funded the investigation.
Data from 7,360 women who had breast cancer between 1980 and 2005 was examined by the team led by Dr. Christine Bouchardy, a professor at the University of Geneva and head of the Geneva Cancer Registry. 54% of the 7,360 women received antiestrogen therapy.
The women were followed until 2008, during the follow-up period the investigators documented 34 cases of melanoma. The team discovered that the risk for developing melanoma was 60% higher among women who did not receive antiestrogen therapy than those who received it.
As more focus is placed on the role estrogen plays in breast cancer, investigators are starting to wonder its role in other cancers. Bouchardy explains: "These data reinforce the hypothesis that estrogens play a role in melanoma occurrence."
According to Bouchardy, this may be because estrogens are linked to raised levels of melanin and melanocytes production in human skin, which have been connected with early-stage melanoma. Although, Bouchardy cautioned against extensive antiestrogen supplementation to inhibit melanoma in the general population.