Contrary to what your dermatologist or sunscreen manufacturers tell you, sun exposure does not cause melanoma. In fact, a recent study from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center made a remarkable conclusion that sunlight prevents skin cancer!
Extensive data shows that vitamin D properties can act as a protection from various forms of cancer. Among these is the dreaded melanoma.
Apart from skin cancer, sunlight can protect against 13 other types of cancers. Some of which are the breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and the colon cancer.
Sun Exposure does Not Cause Melanoma
Melanoma is a very aggressive type of cancer that can begin as a skin development but can quickly metastasize to other parts and organs of the body. Less than 2% of all instances of skin cancer are of type melanoma.
Nevertheless, melanoma’s insidious nature makes it responsible for most of the deaths resulting from skin cancer. However, as we’ve said earlier, documented studies have ruled out sunlight as a cause of melanoma.
Our breakthrough begins with Dr. Daniel Colt from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. As a skilled surgical oncologist, he shared his analysis of melanoma at the Health Education Seminar 2012 organized by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In his findings, he presented an extraordinary evidence that cleared a lot of legends about melanoma.
During his presentation, he shocked the congregation when he postulated that sun exposure is not the cause of most melanomas. Henceforth, avoiding the sun and using sunblock will not prevent melanoma.
Dr. Colt further explained that genetics are the primary cause of melanoma. It is linked to family history and is caused by gene mutation.
In 2002, a detailed melanoma review from the UK had also brought some compelling data. The analysis was conducted in five studies that analyzed links between melanoma and sunscreen.
The conclusion of the report is that there is no compelling link between using sunscreen for protective use and prevention of melanoma.
Findings from two of the studies shown that there is a protective benefit from using sunscreen against melanoma.
However, the other three studies have shown a negative association with using sunscreen. This means that sunscreen use has increased malignant melanoma in the examinants.
Furthermore, Dr. Mitchell David, Ph.D. from the Carcinogenesis department from M.D. Anderson, found that Ultraviolet rays type A (UVA) did not cause melanoma, nor are they the cause of the melanoma epidemic of the last 30 years.
But How Can Sunshine Prevent Skin Cancer?
So, if sunlight does not cause melanoma, what part does it play in the cause and prevention of cancer?
Sun exposure can reduce the risk of developing skin and other types of cancer, as many studies shown. Sunlight is the primary natural source of vitamin D.
And Vitamin D has many anti-cancerous benefits for the individual because it can increase the differentiation of cells.
Vitamin D can also suppress signals for growth in the cells, reduces the proliferation of cells in the body, reduces the hormonal effect that IGF-1 has on cell growth and cancer progression.
Finally, vitamin D can hinder angiogenesis, preventing tumors from forming new blood vessels.
If anything, the creation and development of cancer in the body can be attributed, to a lack of vitamin D.
Even More Studies
To further reinforce this, here are a few studies that have proven that lack of vitamin D can contribute to carcinogenesis (cancer initiation) of the colon, skin, ovaries, breast and others.
In one study, Dr. William B. Grant, from the Health Research Center has shown that 50,000 Americans will die as a result of inadequate sun exposure each year.
In another study by the same author, results demonstrated that the lethality of 17 different types of cancer directly correlates with the lack of sunlight based, vitamin D.
Another study of the author, ultraviolet rays of type B (UVB) in the United States can reduce the risk of 16 types of cancer, including melanoma.
In 2003, research from the JID (Journal of Investigative Dermatology ) showed that risk of melanoma reversely relates to daily sun exposure. People with a reduced risk of melanoma were exposed to a lot more sun in their life than average.
Next, in a study from the University of Leeds concluded that patients with melanoma that have the lowest levels of vitamin D had the lowest prognoses.
On the other hand, patients with increased levels of sun exposure were least likely to pass away from any disease.
A study with 3,000 patients with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma found that UV exposed individuals lowered the risk of cancer by 40%.
A lot of other carcinoma experts came to the same conclusion. Sun exposure is unrelated with the increase of melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Sun exposure, as we’ve seen above is protective of many types of cancer. However, we still haven’t seen the role of sunscreen in the picture.
The Truth About Sunscreen
Usage of sunscreen increased considerably in the past 50 years. At least 61% of the adult population in the United States uses sunscreen for protection against the sun, says the U.S. Center for Disease Control, and this number will continue to grow over the years.
For comparison, in the 1970s, the sales for sunscreen were about $18 million. The sales for sunscreen today are $400 million.
And yet, the studies that we mentioned above have clearly demonstrated that sunscreen is not only very inefficient at preventing cancer, but melanoma itself occurs less in people with greater sun exposure.
In addition to this, using sunscreens that block the production of vitamin D was also correlated with increased risks of melanoma.
As a final note, if this was not the case and sunscreen was useful for protecting against harmful UV rays, then why haven’t we’ve seen a decline in cancer statistics?
Actually, over the past years we’ve seen that in spite of the broad use of sunscreen by the population, skin cancer occurs much more often than before.
What this means is that millions of people are at an ever so greater risk of skin cancer every year! And the sunscreen companies turn a blind eye to adverse effects of sunscreen and even actively endorse it.
Don’t forget: they made hundreds of millions of dollars every year from sunscreen sales!
Sunscreen Leads to Cancer
Other than blocking the production of vitamin D in the body, our sunscreen has a more direct role in the development of cancer. People that wear sunscreen often feel protected and spend a lot of time in direct sunlight.
This is bad because they expose themselves to sunburn, sun poisoning, and excessive radiation.
Too much ultraviolet radiation can damage our skin cells DNA structure. And if too much DNA in our skin cells gets modified over time, it can cause unexpected behavior from cells like growing out of control and developing free radicals. This, in turn, can lead to skin cancer.
Furthermore, what we call “sunburn” is a response from our immune system to UV radiation. What happens is, our body releases a caustic inflammatory chemical by the name of cytokine, which replaces damaged cells with healthy ones.
The bad side of this process is that cytokine also creates free radicals in the process. These free radicals can mutate our DNA potentially causing tumor initiation.
On another note, the cytokine process is not a perfect one. It can skip damaged skin cells, and initiation of cancer can occur. As with everything, sunbathing should be in moderation.
The Risks of Cancer in Sunscreen Usage
A lot of chemicals found in sunscreens are endocrine disruptors that are toxic and over time, significantly damage the liver and heart.
Sunscreen can enter the bloodstream by soaking into your skin. When absorbed through the skin, it can bypass the liver and enter your body without detoxification.
A study done by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority found that Octyl methoxycinnamate is 100% more toxic if exposed to the sunlight. Octyl methoxycinnamate is one of the key ingredients of sunscreens.
They function by blocking UV rays. The study concluded that the reaction of UV light and the sunscreen chemicals create free radicals that can modify our DNA.
Replace Your Sunscreen With a Powerful, Healthy Diet
Sun exposure in modest daily amounts paired with a lifestyle that is healthy and rational, can decrease the risk of cancer. A healthy lifestyle, however, does not entail smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption (excessive that is) and foods poor with nutrients.
Even though melanoma is caused primarily by genetic factors, there’s much you can do to fight against cancer actively. And changing your lifestyle to be more healthy is a sure way to do it!
If you spend more time outdoors, you should protect yourself better with protective clothing. You can also consider using mineral sunscreens. Do however keep in mind that your diet is the best sunscreen in the market.
Get a lot of antioxidant rich food and vitamins (vitamins E and C are the most important). Also, don’t forget to eat a lot of green veggies.
Fresh, unprocessed food will give the body a lot greater supply of nutrients and antioxidants that are the most efficient at fighting off free radicals.