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. 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.” 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. 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.  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. 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. present evidence that outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the UVR exposure as indoor workers,  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.               
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., 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. 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.
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, on sexual organs and armpits?
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!
 Melanoma International Foundation, 2007 Facts about melanoma.
 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
 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).
 J. Moan and A. Dahlback. The relationship between skin cancers, solar radiation and ozone depletion. Br J Cancer 1992; 65: 916–21
 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
 Godar D. UV doses worldwide. Photochem Photobiol 2005;81:736–49.
 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.
 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
 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.
 Burgess, A. et al. Parotidectomy: preoperative investigations and outcomes in a single surgeon practice. ANZ J Surg 2008 Sep;78(9):791-3.
 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.
 Rhodes, A. Melanoma’s Public Message. Guest editorial, Skin and Allergy News 2003;34 – See more at: https://www.sunlightinstitute.org/exposing-sunlightmelanoma-fraud-part-1#sthash.tMzz9z1n.dpuf
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.
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?”  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. 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. 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.
 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  Ackerman, A. Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma, Myth on Myth. Ardor Scribendi, LTD, New York, 2008  Rhodes, A. Guest editorial, Melanoma’s Public Message. Skin and Allergy News 2003;34:1-4
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.”