Background: Low intake of fat and high intake of specific vitamins have been hypothesized to reduce risk of basal cell carcinoma of the skin (BCC).
Objective: Our objective was to examine intakes of fat, antioxidant nutrients, retinol, folate, and vitamin D in relation to risk of BCC.
Design: In 1986, diet was assessed by a validated food-frequency questionnaire in 43217 male participants of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who were 40-75 y of age and free of cancer. During 8 y of follow-up, we ascertained 3190 newly diagnosed cases of BCC.
Results: Total fat consumption was associated with a lower risk of BCC [relative risk (RR): 0.81; 95% CI: 0.72, 0.90 for the highest compared with the lowest quintile of intake; P for trend < 0.001). Simultaneous modeling of specific fatty acids suggested that this inverse association was limited to monounsaturated fat (RR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.96; P for trend = 0. 02); saturated and polyunsaturated fat were not associated with BCC risk. Folate intake was associated with a slightly higher risk of BCC (RR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.40; P for trend = 0.11), whereas alpha-carotene was associated with a slightly lower risk (RR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.79, 0.99; P for trend = 0.01). Intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin E were not materially related to BCC risk.
Conclusions: These findings do not support the hypothesis that diets low in fat or high in specific vitamins lower risk of BCC.