Tag Archives: melanoma

Vitamin A may reduce the risk of melanoma by 40%.

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology has found that those women who took vitamin A supplements for five years had a 40% reduced risk of melanoma compared to those who did not take the supplements. [1]

Such studies are useful in that they show that melanoma is not necessarily caused by sunlight. It is important to understand that poor nutrition is a factor in almost all cancers, not just melanoma. And here is something else to remember: high intakes of supplemental vitamin A are associated with birth defects, increased risk of lung cancer, liver abnormalities, increased risk of osteoporosis, and central nervous system disorders.[2] No such adverse side effects are associated with natural dietary beta-carotene consumption (beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A production in the body); in fact beta carotene from carrots and other vegetables has significant protective effects against cancer,[3] but supplemental doses of beta-carotene may actually increase cancer.[4]

The good news about this study is that it defined an antioxidant that helped prevent melanoma; the bad news is that if people read a report on the study and then start supplementing vitamin A in high quantities, the may commit vitamin A suicide. It is best to eschew the supplementation and eat large quantities of green and yellow vegetables and colorful fruits to help prevent melanoma and other cancers. There are no studies that show anything but positive results for that style of nutrition. For more on the link between nutrition and melanoma, see my earlier blog. skin-cancer-and-nutrition

Also, don’t forget that safe and regular sunlight exposure also decreases the risk of melanoma, contrary to popular belief. See my book for more details.


[1] Maryam Asgari, M.D., M.P.H., dermatologist and investigator, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland; Doris Day, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Robert Graham, M.D., internist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; March 1, 2012, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, online.

[2] National Institutes of Health, Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin A and carotenoids—Health Professional Fact Sheet. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamina?print=1. Accessed March 1, 2012.

[3] Fontham ETH. Protective dietary factors and lung cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1990;19:S32-S42

[4] Redlich CA, Blaner WS, Van Bennekum AM, Chung JS, Clever SL, Holm CT, Cullen MR. Effect of supplementation with beta-carotene and vitamin A on lung nutrient levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1998;7:211-14.

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Another indication that sunscreens do more harm than good.

By: Marc Sorenson, EdD, Sunlight Institute–

As people have moved out of the sunlight to avoid melanoma, the incidence of that disease has increased dramatically.  Some of that increase has occurred after the advent of sunscreen use, indicating that sunscreens may do more harm than good.  Now we have information indicating that sunscreens may inhibit the body’s natural protection against sun damage.  These chemical soups are a farce and have no place in good health habits.   Read more about the way that the body ‘sees” sunlight and responds by protecting it from overexposure.

Read the article.

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Sunshine Weekends and Vitamin D May Save You from Melanoma

Sunlight, and plenty of it, may be the best method for reducing the risk of melanoma. An impressive piece of research on melanoma and sunlight appeared recently in the European Journal of Cancer.[1] Dr. Julia Newton Bishop and colleagues (thirteen scientists in all) researched sunlight exposure habits and compared those habits to the risk of melanoma in an English population. Among other notable findings was a considerable reduction in melanoma risk among those who received the highest summer sunlight exposure on weekends. Compared to those with the least exposure to sunlight on weekends, those who received 4-5 hours of sunlight during the weekends had a reduced risk of melanoma of 28%, and those who received more than 5 hours had a reduced risk of melanoma of 33%.

In general, the English have very light complexions—complexions that are known to be more susceptible to melanoma, a fact that makes the research even more interesting. One can only conclude from this information that regular sunlight exposure protects against melanoma. In reality, this result should come as no surprise; at least 16 studies have shown indoor workers are much more likely to contract melanoma than outdoor workers.[2] Other research points out that melanomas occur much more frequently on areas of the body that receive little or no exposure to sunlight.[3]

Finally, it is quite obvious that outdoor living has decreased dramatically since 1935. Based on materials furnished by the Department of Labor Statistics, I calculated that sunlight exposure has decreased by at least 83%..[4] Yet, the Melanoma International Foundation has stated, “Melanoma is epidemic: rising faster than any other cancer and projected to affect one person in 50 by 2010, currently it affects 1 in 75 . In 1935, only one in 1500 was struck by the disease.” In other words, as sunlight exposure has dropped profoundly, melanoma risk has increased by 3,000%! Based on those facts, the idea—that sunlight exposure is the cause of melanoma—is counterintuitive at best, and ludicrous at worst.

It is likely that vitamin D production in the skin, in response to sunlight, is a major player in reducing the risk of melanoma. Enzymes in melanoma cells form active vitamin D[5], which in turn can lead to melanoma cell death,[6] and in lab experiments, active vitamin D can destroy melanoma cells.[7] In fact, vitamin D works in many ways to reduce cancer. Here are just a few:

1. Vitamin D promotes apoptosis (normal cell death) so that cancer cells die normally.[8]

2. Vitamin D inhibits proliferation (out-of-control growth) of cancer cells.[9]

3. Vitamin D inhibits angiogenesis in cancerous tissue. Angiogenesis is the formation of blood vessels. It is a process that provides blood and nutrients to newly formed tissue. If angiogenesis in cancer cells can be stopped, the cells die. Vitamin D acts a selective angiogenesis inhibitor—it retards the growth of new, undesirable “feeder” blood vessels into cancer cells.[10]

4. Vitamin D inhibits metastasis (the spreading of cancer cells from the initial location of the disease to another location).[11]

The key to safe sunlight exposure is to avoid burning and to gradually develop a tan. Caution is always in order. To prevent melanoma, we need not to avoid the sunlight but safely embrace it!

 


[1] Newton-Bishop, J et. al. Relationship between sun exposure and melanoma risk for tumours in different body sites in a large case-control study in a temperate climate. European Journal of Cancer 2011; 4 7; 7 3 2 –7 4 1.

[2] Lee J. Melanoma and exposure to sunlight. Epidemiol Rev 1982;4:110–36.

Vågero D, Ringbäck G, Kiviranta H. Melanoma and other tumors of the skin among office, other indoor and outdoor workers in Sweden 1961–1979 Brit J Cancer 1986;53:507–12.

Kennedy C, Bajdik CD, Willemze R, De Gruijl FR, Bouwes Bavinck JN; Leiden Skin Cancer Study. The influence of painful sunburns and lifetime sun exposure on the risk of actinic keratoses, seborrheic warts, melanocytic nevi, atypical nevi, and skin cancer. Invest Dermatol 2003;120:1087–93.

Garland FC, White MR, Garland CF, Shaw E, Gorham ED. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the USA Navy. Arch Environ Health 1990; 45:261-67.

Kaskel P, Sander S, Kron M, Kind P, Peter RU, Krähn G. Outdoor activities in childhood: a protective factor for cutaneous melanoma? Results of a case-control study in 271 matched pairs. Br J Dermatol 2001;145:602-09.

Garsaud P, Boisseau-Garsaud AM, Ossondo M, Azaloux H, Escanmant P, Le Mab G. Epidemiology of cutaneous melanoma in the French West Indies (Martinique). Am J Epidemiol 1998;147:66-8.

Le Marchand l, Saltzman S, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, Franke SJM, Kolonel N. Sun exposure, diet and melanoma in Hawaii Caucasians. Am J Epidemiol 2006;164:232-45.

Armstong K, Kricker A. The epidemiology of UV induced skin cancer. J Photochem Biol 2001;63:8-18

Crombie IK. Distribution of malignant melanoma on the body surface. Br J Cancer 1981;43:842-9.

Crombie IK. Variation of melanoma incidence with latitude in North America and Europe. Br J Cancer 1979;40:774-81.

Weinstock MA, Colditz,BA, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. Bronstein, BR, Speizer FE. Nonfamilial cutaneous melanoma incidence in women associated with sun exposure before 20 years of age. Pediatrics 1989;84:199-204.

Tucker MA, Goldstein AM. Melanoma etiology: where are we? Oncogene 20f03;22:3042-52.

Berwick M, Armstrong BK, Ben-Porat L, Fine J, Kricker A, Eberle C. Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma. J Nat Cancer Inst 2005;97:95-199.

Veierød MB, Weiderpass E, Thörn M, Hansson J, Lund E, Armstrong B. A prospective study of pigmentation, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma in women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1530-8.

Oliveria SA, Saraiya M, Geller AC, Heneghan MK, Jorgensen C. Sun exposure and risk of melanoma. Arch Dis Child 2006;91:131-8.

Elwood JM, Gallagher RP, Hill GB, Pearson JCG. Cutaneous melanoma in relation to intermittent and constant sun exposure—the western Canada melanoma study. Int J Cancer 2006;35:427-33

[3] Garland FC, White MR, Garland CF, Shaw E, Gorham ED. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the USA Navy. Arch Environ Health 1990; 45:261-67.

Rivers, J. Is there more than one road to melanoma? Lancet 2004;363:728-30.

Crombie, I. Racial differences in melanoma incidence. Br J Cancer 1979;40:185-93.

[4] Ian D. Wyatt and Daniel E. Hecker. Occupational changes in the 20th century. Monthly Labor Review, March 2006 pp 35-57: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[5] Chida K, Hashiba H, Fukushima M, Suda T, Kuroki T. Inhibition of tumor promotion in mouse skin by 1 alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. J Cancer Res 1985;45:5426–30.

[6] Evans SR, Houghton AM, Schumaker L, Brenner RV, Buras RR, Davoodi F, et al. Vitamin D receptor and growth inhibition by 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in human malignant melanoma cell lines. J Surg Res 1996;61:127–33.

[7] Seifert M, Diesel B, Meese E, Tilgen W, Reichrath J. Expression of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1alpha-hydroxylase in malignant melanoma: implications for growth control via local synthesis of 1,25(OH)D and detection of multiple splice variants. Exp Dermatol 2005;14:153–4.

[8] Diaz, G. et al. Apoptosis is induced by the active metabolite of vitamin D3 and its analogue EB1089 in colorectal adenoma and carcinoma cells: possible implications for prevention and therapy. Cancer Res 2000;60:2304-12.

Swamy, N. et al. Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis by 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-3beta-(2)-Bromoacetate, a nontoxic and vitamin D receptor-alkylating analog of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in prostate cancer cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10:8018-27.

Miller, E. et l. Calcium, vitamin D, and apoptosis in the rectal epithelium. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2005;14: 525-28.

[9] Swamy, N. et al. Inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis by 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-3beta-(2)-Bromoacetate, a nontoxic and vitamin D receptor-alkylating analog of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in prostate cancer cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10:8018-27.

[10] Mantell, D. et al. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Circulation Research. 2000;87:214.

[11] Nakagawa K. et al. 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) is a preventive factor in the metastasis of lung cancer. Carcinogenesis 2005;26:429-40.

El Abdaimi, K. et al. The vitamin D analogue EB 1089 prevents skeletal metastasis and prolongs survival time in nude mice transplanted with human breast cancer cells. Cancer Research 2000;60:4412-4418.

Lokeshwar B. et al. Inhibition of prostate cancer metastasis in vivo: a comparison of 1,23-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) and EB1089. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Rev. 1999;8:241-48. –

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Exposing the Sunlight/Melanoma Fraud: Part 2

By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–

Is the purported increase in melanoma a fraud?

In the last post, I made a case that sunlight does not cause melanoma, and that if Melanoma is increasing, as stated by the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF), it is doing so while sunlight exposure is decreasing. But suppose that the increase in melanoma is not an increase at all? Some believe that there is no proliferation of melanoma, but only a proliferation of dermatologists, and a proliferation of diagnoses of skin spots as being melanoma by some dermatologists in an attempt to make more money. An article by Harmon Leon,[1] writing for the Huffington Post, served as a reminder of the potential for fraud among (unscrupulous) dermatologists. I strongly suggest you read that article. I am indebted to Mr. Leon for a few of the points made in this post.

I do not mean to suggest that all dermatologists are dishonest. Many of the facts that I gather are derived from research performed by dermatologists who are trying to awaken the public to the fraudulent actions of some members of their profession.

Those who profit from scare tactics regarding melanoma I call The Powers of Darkness. They have frightened us away from the sunlight, or as Dr. Michael Holick (an honest dermatologist) says, “scared the daylights out of us to scare us out of the daylight.” The consequence is widespread vitamin D deficiency that has led to millions of cases of death and disability. Dr. Arthur Rhodes, a dermatologist, wrote in a 2003 editorial for an independent dermatology newspaper[2] that melanoma’s public message—that sunlight was the sole cause of melanoma—was causing death among patients and medical professionals alike. In it he suggested that many people were not taking care of melanomas that occurred in areas of little or no sunlight exposure; this was because they assumed that only sunlight could cause melanoma. The following are some of the examples that he gathered from his experience with this most deadly of skin cancers:

1. A dermatology trainee died of melanoma at age 28. He watched a mole change in his armpit for years, but because that area never received UV light, he assumed it was not melanoma and delayed seeking help. 2. A 40-year-old woman had a sore on the bottom of her heel and believing only sunlight caused melanoma, she had no idea that it was melanoma. She died three years later. 3. A Harvard-trained lung specialist ignored a sore on his upper back. He and his fiancée, a Harvard-trained pediatric resident, observed the change for several years without having it examined. They didn’t know that melanoma could occur in an area that never received sunlight. He died six months after diagnosis at age 29.

Here is a quote from this enlightened dermatologist: “If a medical resident can misinterpret public health messages about sun exposure and melanoma, and two Harvard-trained physicians were ignorant about the most important risk factors for developing melanoma, then the general public will tend to make the same potentially fatal mistakes. Those mistakes lead to delayed diagnosis of this potentially lethal cancer—particularly when we pound out the message that the culprit in melanoma is sun, sun, sun, and we are not sufficiently emphasizing the most important risk factors for developing melanoma.”

Dr. Rhodes states that “melanoma is a heterogeneous disease with multiple causes, arising from potential precursor moles that have little or nothing to do with sun exposure [emphasis mine], including dysplastic nevi, congenital nevi, and abnormal moles on acral surfaces and mucous membranes.”

Another celebrated dermatologist, Dr. Bernard Ackerman, wrote a meticulously documented 440 page monograph called The Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma: Myth on Myth.[3] In it he presents nearly every piece of research regarding sunlight and melanoma up until 2008, and concludes that the purported “epidemic” of sunlight-caused melanoma is a myth.

I agree with these dermatologists. The “epidemic” of melanoma is a myth, and dermatologists themselves are paying a price. Their own sunlight avoidance is causing widespread vitamin D deficiency among members of their profession. Australian dermatologists, while living in one of the sunniest areas of the world, have an average blood-vitamin D level of only 13 ng/ml—a level considered to be severely deficient.[4] At least this group is following their own advice to avoid the sun. As you will see, not all dermatologists are following their own advice—especially those in the USA.

There are still other dermatologists who refuse to sing in the official choir of the Powers of Darkness. Writing in the British Medical Journal in 2008, Dr. Sam Shuster argued that the purported increase in melanoma is not really an increase at all, but an artifact due to non-melanoma lesions being diagnosed as melanoma.[5] In 2009, another study by dermatologists— Dr. Nick Levell and his colleagues, including Shuster—this time published by the British Journal of Dermatology, came to a similar conclusion and called the “increase” in melanoma a “midsummer night’s dream.”[6] They concluded, after tracking the reported increase in Melanoma in the Eastern region of the UK between 1991 and 2004, that benign lesions were being classified in increasing numbers as stage-one melanoma. No other stages of the disease increased, and the increase in mortality due to melanoma was either miniscule or non-existent. This was true even though all grades of tumors were diagnosed at first presentation. They also noted that “the distribution of the lesions reported did not correspond to the sites of lesions caused by solar exposure,”—in other words, the “cancers” were occurring on areas of the body seldom exposed to sunlight. Levell and his group also say that “the large increase in reported incidence is likely to be due to diagnostic drift which classifies benign lesions as stage 1 melanoma.”

They further stated that “These findings inevitably challenge the validity of epidemiology studies linking increasing melanoma incidence with UV radiation, and suggest the need for a search for other ways in which the disease may be caused.”

Dr. Ackerman agreed. In his meticulously documented monograph, he notes that “researchers have created an epidemic of melanoma when, in fact, the only change has been an “epidemic” in diagnoses of melanoma.”

Notwithstanding the research presented by these dermatologists, the American Academy of Dermatology (AADA) and other melanoma organizations continue to spread misinformation regarding the disease. Dr. William James, president of the AAD has said that melanoma has become the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, testifying to that statement before the FDA.[7] Yet, he did not mention data from the National Cancer Institute indicating that death due to melanoma has decreased by 50% among women of ages 20-49 since 1975.[8] That means young women have less than one chance in 100,000 of dying from melanoma, which does not even place it in the top 15 causes of cancer death.[9] And, the American Cancer Society states that “since 2000 melanoma has been decreasing rapidly in whites younger than 50, by 3% per year in men since 1991 and by 2.3% per year since 1995 in women.” We might ask why these figures are not included in the statements by dermatologists regarding the “epidemic” of melanoma. Could it be because of a cozy financial relationship with pharmaceutical companies that produce sunscreen?[10]

Harmon Leon gave another reason to question the “epidemic” of melanoma: The USA has 4.5% of the world’s population, yet has 52% of the world’s melanoma. The American Cancer Society estimates 68,720 new melanomas in the US during 2009,[11] whereas the World Health Organization estimates 132,000 new cases yearly worldwide.[12] Something is very strange here. It certainly seems that the exceptionally high melanoma figures in the USA might be doctored to produce sunscreen sales, dermatology visits and the removal of benign leisions. If you want to read about how this is done, click on this link. http://www.cnbc.com/id/27087326 In addition, Dr. Ackerman points out the following in his monograph:

1. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society sold their seals of recognition to manufacturers of sunscreens, based on research conducted solely by the sunscreen industry. The price, he says, was “substantial in terms of dollars but incalculable in terms of honor.” For instance, for an application of $10,000 and an annual fee of 5,000, sunscreen manufacturers may boast approval of their products in the form of the “Seal of Recognition” of the American Academy of Dermatology. They then display this seal on the front of their tubes. The American Cancer Society allows its logo to be placed on tubes of Neutrogena sunscreens in exchange for $300,000 annually. 2. In 2007, the year in which the Seal of Recognition program for the AAD was implemented, the past president of the board, who chaired the Seal program, and half the members of the board had financial ties to companies that manufacture sunscreen. And in 2008, all four new members of the board had those ties. 3. Darrell Rigel, a former president of the AAD, affirmed how important it was to avoid the sun while he, himself, was on vacation in Hawaii. 4. The AAD ran announcements for and updates on their scientific meetings, stating that they took place in “Sunny San Diego” and “Sunny San Antonio.” [Aren’t they supposed to avoid the sunlight?]

We now have two possibilities (see parts 1 and 2 of this post). (1.) Either melanoma has increased exponentially while sunlight exposure dramatically decreased or (2.) There has been no increase in melanoma; the purported increase is nothing more than an increase in the number of harmless skin spots that are being diagnosed as melanoma by an increasing number of dermatologists. In either case, the idea that regular, non-burning sunlight exposure is the cause of melanoma is a fraud—an idea promulgated by dermatological academies, sunscreen manufacturers and melanoma foundations driven by the desire for profit.

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/harmon-leon/is-profit-behind-dermatol_b_64… [2] Rhodes, A. Melanoma’s Public Message. Skin & Allergy News 2003;34 (4):1-4 [3] Ackerman, B. The Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma: Myth on Myth. Ardor Scribendi, New York 2008. [4] D. Czarnecki, C. J. Meehan and F. Bruce. The vitamin D status of Australian dermatologists. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 2009;34, 624–25. [5] Shuster, S. Is sun exposure a major cause of melanoma? No. BMJ 2008;337:a764 [6] N.J. Levell, C.C. Beattie, S. Shuster and D.C. Greenberg. Melanoma epidemic: a midsummer night’s dream? British J Dermatol 2009;161:630–34 [7] http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-academy-of-dermatology-… [8] Age-adjusted mortality rates by Cancer site, Ages 20-49, White, Female 1975-2007. National Center for Health Statistics, Center for Disease Control, April 10, 2010. National Cancer institute. [9] http://caonline.amcancersoc.org/cgi/content/full/59/4/225/TBL6 [10] http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4393/is_3_39/ai_n29418761/ [11] American Cancer Society Cancer reference Information 2009. http://nccu.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_1X_What_are_the_key_s… [12] http://www.who.int/uv/faq/skincancer/en/index1.html

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Exposing the Sunlight/Melanoma Fraud: Part 1

For the purposes of this article, we discuss regular, non-burning exposure to sunlight–the type of sunlight that slowly produces a tan–and the type of sunlight exposure that can save your life. Never, ever burn yourself in the sunlight. See your medical professional before making any changes in your sunlight habits. Is melanoma caused by regular sunlight exposure, or are we being defrauded?

The Melanoma International Foundation (MIF), is one the Powers of Darkness–organizations that would have us all become vitamin D deficient and ill by avoiding the healing sun.[1] They, like many other sun phobes, believe that sunlight should be shunned as a detriment to human health and that “90% or more of melanoma is caused by ultraviolet radiation either from the sun or tanning salons.”[1] The MIF states that “Melanoma is epidemic: rising faster than any other cancer and projected to affect one person in 50 by 2010, currently it affects 1 in 75. In 1935, only one in 1,500 was struck by the disease.” In other words, they say there has been a 3,000% increase in melanoma since 1935. If true, then their statement that sunlight is the cause of melanoma flies in the face of reason. Consider the following:

1. If melanoma has indeed increased exponentially since 1935, and that increase is due to sunlight exposure, then sunlight exposure must also have shown a parallel or at least significant increase in that time. To determine whether that has happened, I analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) to determine if there was an increase or decrease in human sunlight exposure during the years from 1910 to 2,000.[2] I paid special attention to the changes since 1935, the year the MIF used as a baseline for measuring increases in melanoma incidence. The data showed that indoor occupations grew from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment between 1910 and 2000, and that during the same period, the outdoor occupation of farming declined from 33% to 1.2% of total employment, a 96% reduction. The data also show that approximately 66% of the decline in the occupation of farmers and 50% of the decline in the occupation of farm laborers occurred after 1935.

Further information from the EPA determined that as of 1986, about 5 percent of adult men worked mostly outdoors, and that about 10 percent worked outside part of the time. The proportion of women who worked outside was thought to be lower. [3] This material demonstrates a dramatic shift from outdoor, sunlight-exposed activity to indoor, non-sunlight-exposed activity during the 20th Century, including 1935, the MIF-baseline year. According to these facts, if there is a relationship between sunlight exposure and melanoma, the relationship is inverse—the greater the exposure to sunlight, the less is the risk of melanoma.

It has been theorized that the answer to the statement above, is that a decreasing thickness of the ozone layer (allowing more intense sunlight exposure) is responsible for the increasing incidence of melanoma. However, research by Moan and Dahlback in Norway reported that yearly melanoma incidence increased 350% in men and 440% in women between 1957 and 1984—a period when there was absolutely no thinning of the ozone layer.[4] 2. If melanoma is increasing due to increased exposure to sunlight, it is clear that outdoor workers, being exposed to far more sunlight, would also have far more melanoma. Nevertheless, Godar, et al.[5] present evidence that outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the UVR exposure as indoor workers,[6] [7] have had no increase in melanoma since before 1940, whereas melanoma incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially. Many other studies corroborate the Godar findings that outdoor workers have fewer melanomas than indoor workers.[8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

I repeat: the greater the exposure to sunlight, the less is the risk of melanoma. 3. If sunlight exposure is the reason for the increase in melanoma, we would expect that areas of the body that receive the most exposure would also be the areas of greatest occurrence of the disease. This is not the case. Research by Garland, et al.,[24] assessing the incidence of melanoma occurring at various body sites, found higher rates on the trunk (seldom exposed to sunlight) than on the head and arms (commonly exposed to sunlight). Others have shown that melanoma in women occur primarily on the upper legs, and in men more frequently on the back—areas of little sunlight exposure.[25] In African Americans, melanoma is more common on the soles of the feet and on the lower legs, where exposure to sunlight is almost non-existent.[26]

Again: the greater the exposure to sunlight, the less is the risk of melanoma. How, then can sunlight cause melanoma? Keep in mind that sunscreen use has increased dramatically in the last four decades, paralleling the increase in melanoma. Sunscreens are meant to block sunlight, no? This is one more indication that melanoma risk is increased by sunlight deficiency. 4. A question: If melanoma is caused by sunlight exposure, why do melanomas occur on areas that seldom or never receive sunlight exposure—areas such as inside the mouth,[27] on sexual organs[28] and armpits?[29]

Mull over this information and you will see that the promoting of sunlight as the cause of melanoma is the promoting of a fraud—a fraud that is creating death and destruction due to vitamin D deficiency, which correlates to more than 100 serious diseases and disorders (see my book for documentation). The Powers of Darkness will continue spreading falsehoods about sunlight and melanoma until the truth is brought forth. Join the sunshine movement and help to spread truth and light. And remember: when you enjoy the sunlight, be sure never to burn. Be sure to look for Part 2 in my next blog. Perhaps the biggest fraud of all is that some dermatologists are diagnosing harmless skin spots as melanoma–a means to defraud insurance companies and increase profits. We will also show that melanoma incidence may not be increasing at all. Stay tuned. The next blog will provide information from enlightened dermatologists who believe that their own profession is misleading the public!

 


[1] Melanoma International Foundation, 2007 Facts about melanoma.
[2] Ian D. Wyatt and Daniel E. Hecker. Occupational changes in the 20th century. Monthly Labor Review, March 2006 pp 35-57: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics
[3] U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Catching Our Breath: Next Steps for Reducing Urban Ozone, OTA-O-412 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1989).
[4] J. Moan and A. Dahlback. The relationship between skin cancers, solar radiation and ozone depletion. Br J Cancer 1992; 65: 916–21
[5] Godar DE, Landry RJ, Lucas AD. Increased UVA exposures and decreased cutaneous Vitamin D3 levels may be responsible for the increasing incidence of melanoma. Med hypothesis (2009), doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.09.056
[6] Godar D. UV doses worldwide. Photochem Photobiol 2005;81:736–49.
[7] Thieden E, Philipsen PA, Sandby-Møller J, Wulf HC. UV radiation exposure related to age, sex, occupation, and sun behavior based on time-stamped personal dosimeter readings. Arch Dermatol 2004;140:197–203.
[8] Lee J. Melanoma and exposure to sunlight. Epidemiol Rev 1982;4:110–36.
[9] Vågero D, Ringbäck G, Kiviranta H. Melanoma and other tumors of the skin among office, other indoor and outdoor workers in Sweden 1961–1979 Brit J Cancer 1986;53:507–12.
[10] Kennedy C, Bajdik CD, Willemze R, De Gruijl FR, Bouwes Bavinck JN; Leiden Skin Cancer Study. The influence of painful sunburns and lifetime sun exposure on the risk of actinic keratoses, seborrheic warts, melanocytic nevi, atypical nevi, and skin cancer. Invest Dermatol 2003;120:1087–93.
[11] Garland FC, White MR, Garland CF, Shaw E, Gorham ED. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the USA Navy. Arch Environ Health 1990; 45:261-67.
[12] Kaskel P, Sander S, Kron M, Kind P, Peter RU, Krähn G. Outdoor activities in childhood: a protective factor for cutaneous melanoma? Results of a case-control study in 271 matched pairs. Br J Dermatol 2001;145:602-09.
[13] Garsaud P, Boisseau-Garsaud AM, Ossondo M, Azaloux H, Escanmant P, Le Mab G. Epidemiology of cutaneous melanoma in the French West Indies (Martinique). Am J Epidemiol 1998;147:66-8.
[14] Le Marchand l, Saltzman S, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, Franke SJM, Kolonel N. Sun exposure, diet and melanoma in Hawaii Caucasians. Am J Epidemiol 2006;164:232-45.
[15] Armstong K, Kricker A. The epidemiology of UV induced skin cancer. J Photochem Biol 2001;63:8-18
[16] Crombie IK. Distribution of malignant melanoma on the body surface. Br J Cancer 1981;43:842-9.
[17] Crombie IK. Variation of melanoma incidence with latitude in North America and Europe. Br J Cancer 1979;40:774-81.
[18]Weinstock MA, Colditz,BA, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. Bronstein, BR, Speizer FE. Nonfamilial cutaneous melanoma incidence in women associated with sun exposure before 20 years of age. Pediatrics 1989;84:199-204.
[19] Tucker MA, Goldstein AM. Melanoma etiology: where are we? Oncogene 20f03;22:3042-52.
[20] Berwick M, Armstrong BK, Ben-Porat L, Fine J, Kricker A, Eberle C. Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma. J Nat Cancer Inst 2005;97:95-199.
[21] Veierød MB, Weiderpass E, Thörn M, Hansson J, Lund E, Armstrong B. A prospective study of pigmentation, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma in women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1530-8.
[22] Oliveria SA, Saraiya M, Geller AC, Heneghan MK, Jorgensen C. Sun exposure and risk of melanoma. Arch Dis Child 2006;91:131-8.
[23] Elwood JM, Gallagher RP, Hill GB, Pearson JCG. Cutaneous melanoma in relation to intermittent and constant sun exposure—the western Canada melanoma study. Int J Cancer 2006;35:427-33
[24] Garland FC, White MR, Garland CF, Shaw E, Gorham ED. Occupational sunlight exposure and melanoma in the USA Navy. Arch Environ Health 1990; 45:261-67.
[25] Rivers, J. Is there more than one road to melanoma? Lancet 2004;363:728-30.
[26] Crombie, I. Racial differences in melanoma incidence. Br J Cancer 1979;40:185-93.
[27] Burgess, A. et al. Parotidectomy: preoperative investigations and outcomes in a single surgeon practice. ANZ J Surg 2008 Sep;78(9):791-3.
[28] Ribé, A Melanocytic lesions of the genital area with attention given to atypical genital nevi. J Cutan Pathol. 2008 Nov;35 Suppl 2:24-7.
[29] Rhodes, A. Melanoma’s Public Message. Guest editorial, Skin and Allergy News 2003;34 – See more at: http://www.sunlightinstitute.org/exposing-sunlightmelanoma-fraud-part-1#sthash.tMzz9z1n.dpuf

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Study: Ultraviolet A Exposure Not Associated With Melanoma

By Better Health Research News Desk

Exposure of ultraviolet A light early in life is an unlikely cause of developing melanoma, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A team of researchers used two types of fish, which are prone to developing melanoma, and exposed the groups to either ultraviolet A or B lights everyday during the fifth and 10th day of life. After 14 months of exposure, the scientists then tested the fish for the disease.

The results showed that 43 percent of the194 fish exposed to UVB lighting had melanoma, while only about 13 percent of the 282 fish exposed to UVA had developed the disease.

“We found that UVB exposure induced melanoma in 43 percent of the 194 treated fish, a much higher rate than the 18.5 percent incidence in the control group that received no UV exposure,” said David Mitchell, lead author and professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis. He added that “UVA is just not as dangerous as we thought because it doesn’t cause melanoma.”

While melanoma only accounts for less than 5 percent of all skin cancer cases, it has still been proven to cause the most skin cancer-related deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.

Link: http://bit.ly/axECYZ

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Melanoma: Midsummer Night’s Dream or Vitamin D-Deficiency Nightmare?

One of the most interesting medical research papers to arrive in recent memory is a 2009 study reported in the British Journal of Dermatology entitled, “Melanoma epidemic: a midsummer night’s dream?” [1] In it the authors make the case that melanoma is not caused by sunlight, but rather by an increasing diagnosis of benign lesions as melanoma. In other words, small spots on the skin that are harmless, and that in the past would have been classified as benign, are now being called stage-one melanoma. The authors point out that new diagnoses of stage-one melanoma have increased dramatically over the past few years, but new diagnoses of stage-two, -three and -four melanomas have not increased at all.

Some have suggested that the lack of increase in the latter stages of Melanoma is due to quick removal of the type-one melanomas, which prevents their progression to full-blown cancers. However, the authors point out that those in the study with type-two, three and four melanomas had not been previously diagnosed with type-one, and therefore could not have been “saved” by removal of type-one; the advanced cases were new presentations–people who had not been previously diagnosed with any stage of melanoma.

The case of these dermatologists—that melanoma is a “midsummer night’s dream”—is compelling. Obviously, millions of people who had nothing more than harmless lesions have been diagnosed with melanoma and have had their lesions removed surgically.

The researchers ended their analysis with this statement: “These findings should lead to a reconsideration of the treatment of ‘early’ lesions, a search for better diagnostic methods to distinguish them from truly malignant melanomas, re-evaluation of the role of ultraviolet radiation and recommendations for protection from it, as well as the need for a new direction in the search for the cause of melanoma.”

I can only say “amen” to this conclusion. However, these are not the first dermatologists to question the “epidemic” of melanoma and deny that sunlight is the cause. Dr. Bernard Ackerman, a celebrated dermatologist, wrote a monograph of several hundred pages entitled, Sunlight and the “Epidemic’ of Melanoma, Myth on Myth, in which he made the same argument about the supposed melanoma epidemic being due to incorrect diagnoses.[2] Dr. Arthur Rhodes, another dermatologist, has also given examples of many people who have died with real melanoma that occurred on areas of the body that were never exposed to sunlight.[3] These unfortunate people, believing that the lesions they discovered could not be melanoma because there was no sun exposure, failed to get help until it was too late.

Meanwhile, the world becomes more and more deficient in vitamin D due to the efforts of the “sunscare” movement that would have us believe that sunlight, one of God’s greatest gifts to living beings, is public enemy number one. This has resulted in incredible rates of vitamin D deficiency which have further resulted in an increase in at least 18 major cancers including breast, prostate and colon cancers. It has also resulted in increasing rates of heart disease, infections including flu, autism, and numerous other maladies that I discuss and fully document in my book. Never has there been a greater fraud than the push to scare people out of the sun to avoid a disease—melanoma—that is not an epidemic at all, and whose risk is increased by sun avoidance. Non-burning sunlight exposure is absolutely necessary for optimal human health.

Not only is the “epidemic” of melanoma a midsummer night’s dream, it has become a vitamin D-deficiency nightmare.

[1] N.J. Levell, C.C. Beattie,* S. Shuster and D.C. Greenberg* Melanoma epidemic: a midsummer night’s dream? British Journal of Dermatology 2009;161:630–634 [2] Ackerman, A. Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma, Myth on Myth. Ardor Scribendi, LTD, New York, 2008 [3] Rhodes, A. Guest editorial, Melanoma’s Public Message. Skin and Allergy News 2003;34:1-4

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Melanoma Is Epidemic. Or Is It?

By Gina Kolata

 
The nation is in the grip of what looks like a terrifying melanoma epidemic: melanoma is being diagnosed at more than double the rate it was in 1986, increasing faster than any other major cancer.

But why the numbers are increasing is a contentious subject, so touchy that one dermatologist called it “the third rail of dermatology.”

Many dermatologists argue that melanoma, the most deadly of the skin cancers, is in fact becoming more common. And they recommend regular skin cancer screening as the best way to save lives. But some specialists say that what the numbers represent is not an epidemic of skin cancer but an epidemic of skin cancer screening, and a new study lends support to this view.

In the study, published in the current issue of The British Medical Journal, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of the Department of Veterans Affairs in White River Junction, Vt., and Dartmouth Medical School and his colleagues analyzed melanoma’s changing incidence and death rate over time.

The researchers used Medicare data to track the swift rise in melanoma cases since 1986 and data compiled by the National Cancer Institute to track the death rate and the number of people with early and late-stage disease.

They found that since 1986, skin biopsies have risen by 250 percent, a figure nearly the same as the rise in the incidence of early stage melanoma. But there was no change in the melanoma death rate. And the incidence of advanced disease also did not change, the researchers found.

Dr. Welch and two colleagues, Dr. Steven Woloshin and Dr. Lisa M. Schwartz, argue that if there was really an epidemic of melanoma – for example, if something in the environment was causing people to get the skin cancer, scientists should see increases in cancers at all stages. This is what happened with lung cancer caused by smoking, and with other cancers caused by toxic substances.

The fact that the increase was seen only in very early stage disease was a tip-off that the epidemic might be less than it seemed, Dr. Welch said.

And that, he says, leads to a difficult question. The point of screening for melanoma is to reduce the death toll from the cancer. But if screening has not altered the number of patients with advanced disease or lowered the death rate, what is its benefit?

“That’s the million dollar question,” Dr. Welch said. “It certainly raises questions about whether we’re doing any good.”

The researchers hastened to add that people who notice suspicious moles or spots should not hesitate to see a doctor. But skin cancer screening, they said, is directed at healthy people who have no reason to suspect that anything is wrong.

The federal Preventative Services Task Force, which makes screening recommendations, has said that there was insufficient evidence to recommend either for or against skin screening.

But the American Cancer Society recommends regular skin screening, as does the American Academy of Dermatology, which sponsors Melanoma Mondays and free skin screening clinics that see more than 200,00 people a year.

Speaking for the dermatology academy, one of its past presidents, Dr. Darrell Rigel, a dermatologist in New York, said it only made sense to look for melanomas and remove them before they spread. “As dermatologists, we see people die every day from melanoma,” he said. “And there’s another thing we know with melanoma that’s very clear. The earlier you find it and treat it, the better the survival.”

More and more people are having skin biopsies, Dr. Rigel said, but he questioned Dr. Welch’s conclusion that the biopsies were leading to excessive diagnoses of melanoma. “I would say the inverse is more likely,” Dr. Rigel said. “There are more melanomas and therefore more biopsies.”

At the American Cancer Society, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, an oncologist, said his group reviewed the same data as Dr. Welch and came to a different conclusion. Screening, he said, appears to be saving lives.

As evidence Dr. Lichtenfeld pointed to a trend in the data indicating that the death rate from the disease rose slightly year by year until about a decade ago. That is consistent with an increase in serious cases of melanoma.

Now, he said, “there has been a suggestion in the data that the death rates in the Medicare age group are going down,” an effect that would be expected if screening was working.

He added, “We agree that some of the melanomas are biologically indolent, but we also feel that when we look at the trend in the data and the suggestion of decreased mortality that there has been a benefit from increased surveillance for the disease.”

Dr. Welch disagrees. He said the cancer society was “taking tiny, tiny differences” in death rates from year to year and “putting a huge microscope on it.”

In fact, he said, the death rate has been basically flat since 1986, although it bounces around slightly from year to year as a result of statistical fluctuations.

“We don’t disagree about the data,” Dr. Welch said. “We disagree about the interpretation. We are not arguing that there is zero change in disease burden. We are arguing that most of the newly diagnosed cases are the result of increased screening.”

In a 1997 article, two dermatologists, Dr. Robert Swerlick and Dr. Suephy Chen of Emory University and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, wrote that while some people might be saved by screening, there also are risks from a melanoma diagnosis.

“After a patient has received the diagnosis of melanoma, obtaining insurance can be extremely difficult,” they wrote. “The diagnosis of melanoma also results in heightened scrutiny of all first-degree relatives and family members of the patient, and if increased surveillance leads to increased diagnosis, this process may also put them at risk for the diagnosis of melanoma.”

Others who study cancer screening said that Dr. Welch’s arguments were convincing and that he had raised issues about the national melanoma epidemic that could not easily be dismissed.

Dr. Barnett Kramer, associate director of the Office of Disease Prevention at the National Institutes of Health, said that, of course, the ideal way to know if a screening program works is to do a randomized clinical trial, assigning some people to screening and not others, then seeing if the screening saved lives. Absent such a study, he said, he finds Dr. Welch’s paper convincing.

“It’s doesn’t look like our melanoma awareness campaigns have made an impact on mortality or on late-stage disease,” Dr. Kramer said.

Dr. Russell Harris, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina and a member of the Preventive Services Task Force, said the new paper “should certainly make us worry about screening.”

That also is the view of Dr. A. Bernard Ackerman, emeritus director of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology in New York. Dermatologists have gone too far, he said, with screening clinics, removing innocuous moles and diagnosing melanoma too freely.

It makes sense for a doctor to look at your skin during a regular physical exam, Dr. Ackerman said, but screening programs have led to an excessive zeal for skin biopsies and for diagnosing melanoma.

“There has been a mania for taking off these moles that are of no consequence,” Dr. Ackerman said. “We’re talking about billions and billions of dollars being spent, based on hype.”

While there may be questions about screening programs, Dr. Swerlick said that few in his field wanted to discussion their merits. He and Dr. Chen tried to open the debate themselves a few years ago but were met with hostility or disdain, he said.

“My colleagues in private practice know what we have written and they can’t imagine that it could be correct,” Dr. Swerlick said.

“This is a very touchy subject,” he added.

And he appreciates why. “Many well-intentioned people have focused their clinical careers on this,” he said, “and I can understand how unnerving it might be to be faced with the prospect that their efforts have been directed toward something ineffectual.”

For his part, Dr. Welch says that early detection “is a double-edged sword and people need to remember that.”

A few people might be saved because a cancer is found early, he said, but many, many more will be thrown into the medical mill when there is nothing wrong with them.

“People should realize that is the price we pay for screening,” Dr. Welch said, and although screening is widely promoted, “we ought to know whether it helps.”

Link: http://nyti.ms/cUlDR4

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