Does Fish Really Increase Your Cancer Risk?

There’s definitely something fishy about recent news reports claiming that eating more than two portions of fish per week increases your risk of skin cancer.

These headline-grabbing reports were based on a large study from scientists at Brown University.

According to their research, people who eat around 300 grams of fish a week – about 10.5 ounces – have a 22% higher risk of developing malignant melanoma than people who eat less than an ounce a week.1

To put that into perspective, one typical serving of salmon fillet usually weighs about 7 ounces – so, according to Brown scientists, one salmon filet and a couple of tuna sandwiches per week will put you way over the safety threshold.

The study, which was based on 15 years of research and involved the records of more than 491,000 Americans with an average age of 62, has caused predictable panic among millions of people who rely on fish as their main food source.

Scientists have blamed mercury, an industrial bio-contaminant, as the likely prime culprit for the connection with skin cancer.

But while it’s true that mercury is a toxic and extremely dangerous heavy metal, its presence in fish and its association with skin cancer still seem fishy to me.

You see, in America, we eat, on average, between 10-15 ounces of fish per week. But in Japan, an average of 53 ounces of fish are consumed each week – and the U.S. skin cancer rate is more than 20 times the Japanese rate.

If eating too much fish really did cause skin cancer, millions of people in Japan would be dying from malignant melanoma – but they’re not.

I suspect there is something the researchers have overlooked that will turn out to be the real culprit.

But let me be clear – mercury pollution is a serious health hazard, and its dangers have been known for years. The World Health Organization lists mercury among the top 10 chemicals of most concern to public health.2

Industrial manufacturing, mining, waste incinerators, and coal-fired power plants spew huge amounts of mercury from their smokestacks into the environment every day.

Once it’s released into the atmosphere, it combines with water molecules and transforms into methyl mercury – a highly toxic form of the metal.

These poisonous plumes can travel hundreds of miles before falling to earth in snowflakes, soot, and rain, which then wash into lakes and streams in runoff that eventually ends up in oceans. It accumulates in our water and soil… and in the tissues of wildlife and people, contaminating fish and finding its way onto dinner tables across the nation.

Excessive levels of mercury in pregnant women are known to cause irreversible brain damage and autism in unborn children.

It also causes chronic inflammation and damages your immune system and central nervous system. It has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, hormone imbalances, mood swings, chronic fatigue, and depression, as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.3

Flush cancer-causing chemicals from your body

Whether or not future studies prove that mercury also leads to malignant melanoma, it’s utterly critical that you reverse the effects of this toxic heavy metal in your body.

I recommend my patients use one of these safe and proven detoxes…

    1. DMSA (Meso-2, 3-dimercaptosuccinic acid): This compound is highly effective at eliminating mercury from your body because it has receptor sites to which mercury binds. It can even remove the mercury that has been deposited in the brain. You see, mercury gets inside cells, and even though DMSA cannot enter the cells, glutathione (your body’s natural toxin remover) pushes the metals out of the cell, where they’re picked up by the DMSA and excreted. I recommend DMSA is taken in on-again/off-again cycles — ideally, three days on and 11 days off, because your body needs 11 days to regenerate glutathione levels. Take 9 mg of DMSA per pound of your body weight per day.
    2. Modified Citrus Pectin: The inner peel of citrus fruits contains one of the most potent detox substances I’ve found. In one USDA study, people taking modified citrus pectin for six days excreted 150% more mercury… 230% more cadmium, and… 560% more lead.4 What’s great about modified citrus pectin is that while it eliminates toxic metals and pesticides, it doesn’t deplete your body with zinc, calcium, or magnesium. But make sure you get the right kind. Most pectin is made of large long-chain carbohydrate molecules. These are too big to digest and will just pass through your body. The citrus pectin used in clinical studies is specially formulated for absorption, so it can easily find and bind to toxins. Look for “modified” citrus pectin.

Claw mercury from your body and reverse its effects

Of course, the most effective way to rid your body of mercury is with IV chelation.

The word “chelate” comes from the Greek word “chele,” which means “claw.” And that’s exactly what chelation does. The heavy metals are “clawed” out of your body — albeit painlessly.

Here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, I use calcium disodium EDTA for IV chelation directly into your bloodstream. Heavy metals are “grabbed” by the EDTA and taken out in no time.

If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for  IV chelation at my clinic, please call 561-784-7852.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Li Y, et al. “Fish intake and risk of melanoma in the NIH-AARP diet and health study.” Cancer Causes Control. 33921–928. 2022.
2. “Mercury and Health.” World Health Organization Fact Sheet. January 2016.
3. Fernandes Azevedo B, et al. “Toxic Effects of Mercury on the Cardiovascular and Central Nervous Systems.” Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 2012 (2012): 949048. PMC. Web. 29 Aug. 2015.
4. Alternative Therapies, Jul/Aug 2008, Vol. 14m, No. 4