From the article:
As a fair-haired Scot with freckles and pale skin I’m a classic case to be more at risk from melanoma. Getting quite badly sunburned on my nose years ago in Spain has pushed my risk up further.
To say I’ve been wary about the sun is an understatement – I specialise in treating patients with advanced melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
I was also in Australia 30 years ago at the start of the Slip-Slop-Slap campaign to warn people to keep out of the sun, and for seven years I never went swimming without being covered in sun lotion and wearing a T-shirt.
But now I believe that rather than reducing the risk of skin cancer, following these sun-avoidance guidelines could actually raise it. That’s because we need sun on our skin to make vitamin D – ironically these campaigns may have made millions chronically short of it and put them at risk. t rather than reducing the risk of skin cancer, following these sun-avoidance guidelines could actually raise it.
That’s because we need sun on our skin to make vitamin D – ironically these campaigns may have made millions chronically short of it and put them at risk. The sun’s effects might even protect against melanoma (as reported in the Mail earlier this month).
I first became interested in vitamin D and its cancer fighting potential about 15 years ago, when working in a team testing it as a treatment for breast cancer. It proved very effective, but the project was abandoned for technical reasons.
I thought this was a mistake because it had become clear that vitamin D can target tumours in many different ways, including speeding up the death of tumour cells.
Later, while researching cancer vaccines, I found good vitamin D levels in patients triggered a stronger immune response – important because it makes the vaccine more potent.
Then, a couple of years ago, researchers at Leeds University made the surprising discovery that a very low level of vitamin D was a major risk factor for melanoma.
We as a species have always been to scared for our own good, this has done more harm then good so a good rule to follow is “Everything in moderation. Nothing to excess.”
It will make your life much better in every way if you stick with it.