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Sun exposure is associated with increased survival from melanoma – 2005

Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma.

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Feb 2;97(3):195-9.
Berwick M, Armstrong BK, Ben-Porat L, Fine J, Kricker A, Eberle C, Barnhill R.
University of New Mexico, Department of Internal Medicine, New Mexico Cancer Research Facility, MSC08 4630, Room 103A, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. mberwick at salud.unm.edu

BACKGROUND: Melanoma incidence and survival are positively associated, both geographically and temporally. Solar elastosis, a histologic indicator of cutaneous sun damage, has also been positively associated with melanoma survival. Although these observations raise the possibility that sun exposure increases melanoma survival, they could be explained by an association between incidence and early detection of melanoma. We therefore evaluated the association between measures of skin screening and death from cutaneous melanoma.
METHODS:

Case subjects (n = 528) from a population-based study of cutaneous melanoma were followed for an average of more than 5 years. Data, including measures of intermittent sun exposure, perceived awareness of the skin, skin self-screening, and physician screening, were collected during in-person interviews and review of histopathology and histologic parameters (i.e., solar elastosis, Breslow thickness, and mitoses) for all of the lesions. Competing risk models were used to compute risk of death (hazard ratios HRs, with 95% confidence intervals CIs) from melanoma. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS:

Sunburn, high intermittent sun exposure, skin awareness histories, and solar elastosis were statistically significantly inversely associated with death from melanoma. Melanoma thickness, mitoses, ulceration, and anatomic location on the head and neck were statistically significantly positively associated with melanoma death. In a multivariable competing risk analysis, skin awareness (with versus without, HR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3 to 0.9, P = .022) and solar elastosis (present versus absent, HR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2 to 0.8, P = .009) were strongly and independently associated with melanoma death after adjusting for Breslow thickness, mitotic index, and head and neck location, which were also independently associated with death.

CONCLUSIONS: Sun exposure is associated with increased survival from melanoma.

Full text and many comments are on the web HERE
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Cutaneous vitamin D synthesis versus skin cancer development: The Janus faces of solar UV-radiation.

Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Sep;1(5):253-61.
Reichrath J, Nürnberg B.
Klinik für Dermatologie; Venerologie und Allergologie; Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes; Homburg/Saar, Germany.

In scientific and public communities, there is an ongoing discussion how to balance between positive and negative effects of solar UV-exposure. On the one hand, solar UV-radiation represents the most important environmental risk factor for the development of non-melanoma skin cancer. Consequently, UV protection is an important measure to prevent these malignancies, especially in risk groups. Otherwise, approximately 90% of all vitamin D needed by the human body has to be formed in the skin through the action of UV-radiation. This dilemma represents a serious problem, for an association of vitamin D-deficiency and multiple independent diseases including various types of cancer, bone diseases, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension has now been reported in a large number of investigative and epidemiologic studies. As a consequence, it has been assumed that for the general population in the US, Europe and other countries, the net effects of solar UV B-radiation on human health are beneficial at or near current levels.

We and others have shown that strict sun protection causes vitamin D-deficiency/insufficiency and that detection and treatment of vitamin D-deficiency in sun deprived risk groups is of high importance. Although further work is necessary to define an adequate vitamin D-status and adequate guidelines for solar and artificial UV-exposure, it is at present mandatory that public health campaigns and sun protection recommendations to prevent skin cancer consider these facts. In this review, we analyze the present literature to help developing well-balanced recommendations on sun protection that ensure an adequate vitamin D-status. These recommendations will hopefully protect us against adverse effects of UV protection without significantly increasing the risk to develop UV-induced skin cancer.

PMID: 20808512

full text on the web  HERE


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VitaminDWiki

1) Need to keep things in balance: not too much and not too little
2) Vitamin D decreases rates of all forms of Cancer – including melanoma

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