Drinking orange juice ‘increases your risk of skin cancer’ – the warnings signs you need to know

ORANGE juice raises the risk of skin cancer by more than half, researchers have found.

Those regularly eating the fruit were 79 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

Those regularly consuming oranges were 79% more likely to develop skin cancer, researchers found


Those regularly consuming oranges were 79% more likely to develop skin cancer, researchers foundCredit: Getty – Contributor

Citrus fruits contain a substance called psoralen which makes skin sensitive to the sun’s cancer-causing UV radiation.

People who consume more citrus fruit, particularly oranges and orange juice, were found to be at significantly higher risk of deadly melanoma.

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) said people with a family history of skin cancer may be advised to avoid fruit juice in future.

Spokesman Harriet Dalwood said: “Citrus fruits, especially oranges and orange juice, are consumed widely in the UK. Fruit juice consumption is increasing year-on-year.

“This research could help medical professionals better advise patients who already have established risk factors such as a family history of melanoma to lower their citrus intake.”

The research, from Indiana University and published by the BAD, found people who drank more than one glass of orange juice a day had a 54 per cent increased risk of melanoma.

Those who ate more than one orange per day had a 79 per cent increased risk.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Marley said: “This research suggests a significant increase in melanoma risk associated with a higher citrus intake.”

What are the warning signs?

The most common sign of skin cancer is a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin.

It’s important to know your skin and what it looks like normally so you notice any unusual or persistent changes.

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Use a mirror, or ask your partner or a friend to check the areas of your skin that you can’t see.

There are five things to look out for when it comes to moles:


If a new or existing spot begins to change shape it could be a sign of skin cancer.

It may grow quite suddenly, or change over time, but if it is asymmetrical it’s a good idea to get it checked by a GP.


Spots that have irregular borders are a red flag sign of skin cancer.

It may be a freckle or mole you’ve had for years that’s suddenly got a funny border.

Or you’ve just developed an odd looking spot.

Either way, see your GP.


Many cancerous moles will have different colours within them.

Or an existing mole may have become darker.

If you have a spot with different colours in it, or a mole starts to get darker, don’t risk it – speak to a doctor.


For this point you are looking for a mole that starts to grow.

You may not notice it at first, but after a while you may notice it is larger than it started out.

Any mole that is growing in size needs to be checked by a GP straight away.


Most freckles and moles tends to be flat against the skin.

If one of them suddenly becomes raised it’s a sign of skin cancer.

If you naturally have a raised mole on your skin that doesn’t mean it won’t ever become cancer, so keep an eye on those too.

A change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin is a common sign of skin cancer, but there are also other signs to be aware of, including:

  • a new growth or sore that doesn’t heal
  • a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts
  • a mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs
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If you notice any of these signs, see your GP. If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms, insist they see their doctor.

Sun safety

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “While some might think that a tan is a sign of good health, there is no such thing as a healthy tan, it’s actually your body trying to protect itself from harmful rays.”

Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Sun safety is not just for when you’re going abroad, the sun can be strong enough to burn in the UK from the start of April to the end of September.

“It’s important that people are protecting themselves properly both at home and further afield when the sun is strong.

“We want to encourage people to embrace their natural look and protect their skin from UV damage by seeking shade, covering up and regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and four or five stars.”

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “Although cancer survival is at a record high, more people are getting diagnosed with melanoma and nearly half a million people were urgently referred for skin cancer checks in the last year, so it’s vital that people take every precaution possible to protect their skin, particularly in the summer months, by wearing sunscreen and spending time in the shade.

“Getting cancer diagnosed as soon as possible is vital to people’s chances of surviving, which is why the NHS long term plan sets out ways to catch it earlier including through genomic testing and the roll-out of rapid diagnostic services.”

Thousands more cancer patients will receive “Covid-friendly” treatments after the NHS extended the scheme for at least six months yesterday.

The £160million initiative includes drugs which have a reduced impact on the immune system and can be taken at home rather than being administered in hospital.

Around 8,000 people have already benefitted from the treatment “swaps” since last April.

Janet Street-Porter appears after operation for skin cancer – with large bandage over her nose

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