Vitamin D decreases chances of developing breast cancer

SCIENTISTS believe they have found a link between Vitamin D deficiency and the chances of women developing breast cancer.

The Sydney-based Westmead Cancer Institute study found women living in the southern states of Australia were more likely to develop the disease, compared to their northern counterparts.

The study found women who were more likely to be exposed to Vitamin D, or sunlight, had less a chance of developing the disease.

Although the findings are yet to be publicly released, the news comes as the Cancer Council Queensland announced future plans to examine whether geographical location and socioeconomics impact breast cancer outcomes.

Westmead Cancer Institute Clinical and Research Dietician Kellie Bilinski said this was the first Australian study of its kind.

"This is not an association study that proves living further north lowers the rate of cancer...the study hypothesises that more sunlight a person is exposed to, the less likely they are to develop the disease," Dr Bilinski said.

Cancer Council Queensland has previously revealed women living in rural and regional areas of the state had significantly poorer survival from breast cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland researcher Dr Pip Youl will explore these inequalities during her four year research fellowship.

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