Sun Exposure: Cancer Cause or Part of the Solution?


While dermatologists and sunscreen manufacturers have made it their mission to convince the world that sun exposure causes cancer, this is all a big lie. Sunlight is not the primary cause of skin cancer. In fact, sunlight actually prevents cancer! 

Considerable evidence shows that vitamin D (which is produced from the sun’s rays), is protective of many cancers. This includes the deadliest of skin cancers – melanoma. In addition to melanoma, there are at least 13 other cancers that seem to be positively affected by sunlight. Most notably are breast cancer, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Sun Exposure Does NOT Cause Melanoma

While melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases, it can metastasize to other organs and become very aggressive. It is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. However, researchers have found that that sunlight does not cause melanoma.

Dr. Daniel Coit, surgical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), shared his research on melanoma at a 2012 MSKCC Health Education Seminar. Dr Coit presented some startling evidence and cleared up important myths regarding melanoma.

He surprised the audience when he said that most melanomas are not related to sun exposure, and therefore sunblock or avoiding sun exposure does not prevent melanoma. Dr. Coit explained how melanoma is directly related to family history and called it a disease of gene mutations.

A British review done in 2002 also had some interesting findings. Overall the results provided no clear link between sunscreen use and the prevention of melanoma. While two studies did show a protective effect, three studies showed a negative association. Meaning there was a significant increase in malignant melanoma with sunscreen use.

Dr. David Mitchell, PhD, professor at M.D. Anderson’s department of Carcinogenesis, found via a fish study that UVA does not cause melanoma and is not responsible for the rise in the incidence of melanoma over the past 30 years.

How Sunlight Prevents Cancer

On the contrary, countless studies have shown that sun exposure actually reduces the risk of skin and other cancers.

How does sunlight reduce the risk of cancer? c

Vitamin D increases cell differentiation, suppresses growth signals, reduces cell proliferation, reduces the effect of IGF-1(insulin- like growth factors) on cancer progression, and inhibits angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels in tumors). Therefore, it is more likely that low vitamin D levels account for the rise in skin cancer incidences. In fact, numerous studies show that low vitamin D status may actually contribute to the development of cancers of the skin, breast, colon, ovaries, and others.

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