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Vitamin D’s Effects on Skin Cancer

While skin cancer is mostly treatable, it can still be extremely scary. We spend a lot of time doing everything possible to avoid all types of cancer, but what if something simple like getting vitamin D could lower your risk of getting melanoma skin cancer? A recent study found that patients with elevated levels of vitamin D were far less likely to experience this type of skin cancer.

There are two types of non-melanoma skin cancers – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These account for about 99% of all cases of skin cancer and tend to be very treatable. The other 1% of cases of skin cancer is melanoma. This is the more dangerous of the group because it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body and if not caught and treated quickly it could be fatal.

Contrary to popular belief, all cases of skin cancer are not directly linked to sun exposure. While bad sunburns before the age of 20 could indicate a higher risk of skin cancer, it has recently been noted that high amounts of sun exposure can actually decrease the risk of melanoma skin cancer. Spending a lot of time in the sun can put you at more risk for a non-melanoma skin cancer, but it will also raise your levels of vitamin D. While vitamin D is extremely important in order to keep your bones strong and your body healthy, it has also been known to help your body fight off more dangerous cancers like melanoma which can spread to your lymph nodes and organs.

While getting regular exposure to UV is necessary for good health, it is important to make sure that these exposures are done in a safe manner. When going out in the sun for extended periods of time, it is important to use sunscreen to prevent any damage to the skin. Using an at-home Sunlamp is also a great way to get a nice tan or raise your vitamin D levels in a safe and effective way.