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Skin cancer risk and vitamin D from sun both decrease with darker skin – March 2013

North-South gradients of melanomas and non-melanomas: A role of vitamin D?

Johan Moan, 1,2; Mantas Grigalavicius,1, Zivile Baturaite, 1; Asta Juzeniene 1; and Arne Dahlback 2
1 Department of Radiation Biology; Institute for Cancer Research; oslo, Norway;
2 Department of physics; University of oslo; oslo, Norway

Incidence rates of skin cancer increase with decreasing latitude in Norway, as in many other countries with white populations. The latitudinal trends of the incidence rates of skin cancer were studied and compared with data for vitamin D-induced by UV and for vitamin D intake. The north-south gradient for CMM incidence rates on sun exposed skin is much smaller than those for BCC and SCC, and that for BCC is smaller than that for SCC. This indicates that SCC and BCC are mainly due to solar UVB, while UVA may play a significant role for CMM and a smaller role for BCC, since the north-south gradient of annual UVB fluences is larger than that of UVA fluences. However, there is an inverse latitudinal gradient of skin cancer in central Europe. This is probably due to a gradient of skin color, since white skin is an important determinant of increased risk of skin cancer. The role of vitamin D for skin cancer risk is difficult to evaluate, since serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, as well as vitamin D intakes, are widely different from country to country. Still, epidemiological evidence indicates a role: for melanomas arising on non-sun exposed body localizations (uveal melanomas, melanomas arising in the vulva and perianal/anorectal regions) there appears to be no latitudinal gradient, or, a negative gradient, i.e., increasing rates with decreasing latitude as would be expected if UV-generated vitamin D plays a protective role. Both skin cancer risk and vitamin D photosynthesis decrease with increasing skin darkness.

Clipped from PDF

Effects of skin color and vitamin D.Persons with dark, African skin (types V-VI) have a 20-fold lower risk of getting skin cancers than white people living at the same latitude. 23


PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

Comments by VitaminDWiki on Skin Cancer

  • Decreased chance of skin cancer if not burn the skin
  • Skin which already has enough vitamin D burns much less (see reference below)
    • Probably good to restock vitamin D stores BEFORE getting lots of sun.

See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
3239 Skin cancer and vitamin D.pdf PDF - 2013 admin 10 Nov, 2013 19:51 557.64 Kb 713
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