Purpose: This paper addresses whether nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) mortality rates can serve as a useful index of population ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiance and vitamin D production in a manner that affects the risk of internal cancers
Methods: This analysis uses the ecological study approach with cancer mortality rate data from 19 state economic areas in California. This paper uses age-adjusted data for those aged 40 y or older. Two additional indices for solar UVB doses were also used: latitude and surface UVB doses for July 1992 from the total ozone mapping spectrometer. Lung cancer mortality rates served as the index of the health effects of smoking
Results: Significant inverse correlations with NMSC mortality rate in multiple linear regression analyses were found during the period 1950–64 for eight types of cancer for males: bladder, brain, colon, gastric, prostate, and rectal cancer; multiple myeloma; and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. No similar results emerged for females with respect to all three UVB indices. Their NMSC mortality rates averaged 60% lower than those for males. Lung cancer mortality rates were directly correlated with three types of cancer for males: laryngeal, oral, and renal. No significant correlations with NMSC mortality rates appeared for later periods
Conclusions: NMSC mortality rates were found inversely correlated with internal cancers for males in the period 1950–64. After that period, no further such correlations were found. The reasons may hypothetically include reduced NMSC mortality rates, high immigration rates, movement from rural to urban locations and reduced solar UVB irradiance.