Is Sunlight the Cause of Melanoma? An Alternative View Point – An Interview with Marc Sorenson, EdD

Today’s Show Topic:Is Sunlight the Cause of Melanoma: An Alternative View PointWatch my video overview of Dr. Soreson’s interview Here

Dr. Marc Sorenson (EdD)
Author, Health Educator, Health Spa Owner, Medical Research & Writer.

When a spa owner had extensive experience with thousands of people being placed on low fat, whole food, unprocessed, plant based diets along with daily exercise and sunlight exposure for chronic disease prevention and reversal (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.). Marc Sorenson

1.     Can you tell me about your educational background and what you are currently doing?

My background in education (EdD), health education and exercise. However, most of my education has come after my doctorate, by perusing scientific literature, writing books, blogs and articles, and working in the health resort industry, where my wife and I produced one of the top-ranked resorts in the world. Please see the attached bio and the attached article on our results in the health and fitness business.

2.     When did you really begin to be intrigued with the concept that sunlight was more of a contributor to good health than something to be fearfully avoided?

I always loved the sunlight, and in late spring until early fall, I was never ill. The rest of the year, I was seldom well. I knew inherently that warm weather was good for me but didn’t realize that it was the sun that had the answer to wellness. My knowledge of sunlight’s benefits came to me serendipitously in the 1980s when I was driving through Utah’s high mountains and turned on the radio. A physician, Zane Kime, was being interviewed about his book, Sunlight Could Save your Life. I had never been worried about melanoma, and Kime’s material convinced me that even if sunlight were a trigger for melanoma (which it is not), the myriad benefits of sunlight would remarkably outweigh the melanoma incidence 100-fold. Later on around 1990, I read another paper that reviewed the scientific literature on sunlight and cancer, showing there was an inverse correlation. I have never looked back. The “sunscare” movement is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the public, and its goal is not health, but profit.

3.     What are some of the physiological reasons that sunlight is beneficial to human physiology (brain, vascular system, vit D, etc.)?

My new book will cover somewhere near 100 diseases that are associated with sunlight deficiency. For example, women who totally avoid the sunlight have a 1,000% increased risk of contracting breast cancer, part of which is due to vitamin D production by skin when exposed to the sunlight. D has been shown to reduce metastasis, invasiveness and proliferation of cancer cells, and to increase apoptosis and differentiation of those same cells; Men who are exposed to the greatest quantity of sunlight as children are only 18% as likely to contract prostate cancer as adults as those who avoided the sun.

Women in Spain who seek the sunlight as a lifestyle have less than 10% of the risk of hip fracture as those who avoid the sun, probably due to higher vitamin D levels, which are required for proper absorption of calcium into both blood and bone.

Heart attacks are much more prevalent in winter than summer, and staying in the sunny side of a hospital associates with a 25% reduction in the risk of a second heart attack (the mechanism in the hospital cannot be vitamin D, since all UVB light is filtered out by window glass. The mechanism is likely nitric-oxide (NO) relaxation of blood vessels.) In fact, I opine that most of the profound reductions in heart problems during sunny times are mediated by blood vessel relaxation by NO, not by vitamin D.

No is another photoproduct produced by sunlight exposure to skin, and it is also is a potent vasodilator, which lowers blood pressure almost immediately. Sunbathing quickly lowers blood pressure by stimulating NO production. ED drugs act by keeping NO active in the system for longer periods, allowing corpus cavernosa to open and allow blood flow. Hence the disclaimer: If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours, consult your physician. (BTW these drugs correlate to a profound increase in melanoma risk; do you think the powers that be will ban them?) NO is a specified chemical that naturally disappears quickly, so a four-hour erection could be quite dangerous, causing free-radical damage. On a short-term basis, it can help correct ED and blood pressure and help heal epithelial damage, which is of course, important for heart disease.

4.     How might sunlight help prevent the bad chronic diseases plaguing us like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cataracts and macular degeneration, bone loss, cancer?

Heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis are covered above. Obesity is much less prevalent among adults who are up early and have plenty of access to morning sunlight, and it has been found that the likelihood of adverse effect of bariatric surgery is increased in winter, regardless of latitude. We also know that those who have the highest vitamin D levels are substantially thinner that those with the lowest levels. This is a subject that is ripe for research, as too little is known about how sunlight reduces the accumulation of adipose tissue. However, it is hypothesized that morning sunlight resets the circadian rhythm and thereby increases activity, metabolism, etc.

5.     Now lets’ talk about skin cancer? How do you justify encouraging sunlight exposure with all the fear of skin cancer?

We must separate melanoma from common non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Melanoma is associated with low sunlight exposure and is mostly a disease of sedentary, indoor office workers. NMSC (such as squamous and basal-cell carcinoma) associate to higher sun exposure, but NMSC has an inverse correlation to melanoma. Therefore, if one assumes that sunlight is an accepted cause of non-melanoma skin cancer, one must also accept that it is a prophylactic against melanoma. See number 7 below. The key to preventing NMSC is nutrition: lots of antioxidants from dark berries, cherries and other fruits, as well as a large quantity of greens, beans and legumes, coupled with a diet with no processed omega-6 fats and plenty of omega-3 fats.

6.     Comments on melanoma and skin cancer?

This is the most important topic we can discuss, since it is the big lie responsible for stealing our life-giving sunlight. The Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) tells us that ultraviolet radiation from sunlight causes melanoma and should be avoided as a detriment to human health. IN 2007, The MIF stated 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.” Indeed, the American Cancer Society in 2014 reported that one in 50 now contracts the disease.   Let’s take a look at those mathematics. People had about 30 times the risk of contracting melanoma in 2010-2014 as in 1935, or stated in another way, a 3,000% risk increase. One might surmise that sunlight exposure must have increased in a spectacular manner during the time frame discussed to have caused the exponential increase in melanoma, assuming that the statement by the MIF—that melanoma is caused by sunlight exposure—is correct. But is that statement correct? Here are five pertinent questions that will determine the truthfulness, or lack thereof, regarding the MIF claim.

7.     Has sunlight exposure increased as melanoma has increased?

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 during that time. To determine whether that has happened, we analyzed data from the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 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. We closely considered changes since 1935, the year the MIF used as a baseline for measuring increases in melanoma incidence.

The data from the BLS showed that indoor occupations such as “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers (except private household service workers) grew from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment between 1910 and 2000.” BLS also stated 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 Environmental Protection Agency determined that as of 1986, about 5 percent of adult men worked mostly outside, and that about 10 percent worked outside part of the time. The proportion of women who worked outside was thought to be even lower. These data demonstrate a dramatic shift from outdoor, sun-exposed activity to indoor, non-sun-exposed activity during the mid-to-late 20th Century. This change, nonetheless, has been accompanied by a 30-times increase in melanoma risk since 1935, the MIF-baseline year, and all during a time of profound decrease in sun exposure. This suggests   that sun exposure is not responsible for the increase in melanoma, and we submit instead that the profound decrease in sun exposure may be a factor in the purported exponential melanoma increase. That concept is illustrated graphically below.

Although it has been theorized that decreasing thickness of the ozone layer may be responsible for the increasing incidence of melanoma, 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.

The answer to question 1 is no.

8.     Do outdoor workers have a higher incidence of melanoma than indoor workers?

If melanoma is increasing due to increased sun exposure, it is clear that outdoor workers, being exposed to far higher quantities of sunlight, would also have a far higher incidence of melanoma. Nevertheless, Godar and colleagues 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.

Godar and colleagues also published irrefutable evidence of the protective influence of sunlight against melanoma in a landmark study in 2015, entitled Dramatic Increases in Melanoma Correlate to Low Annual Sunlight Exposure in Europe.

Published in the scientific journal Dermato-Endocrinology, the paper makes some very interesting comments, all based on excellent research:

  1. Melanoma has steadily increased in fair-skinned indoor working people around the world. INCREASING MELANOMA INCIDENCE SIGNIFICANTLY CORRELATES WITH DECREASING PERSONAL ANNUAL UV DOSES [emphasis mine]. (UV or ultraviolet radiation is the spectrum of sunlight that stimulates the skin to produce vitamin D3.)
  2. People are more susceptible to melanoma when they have larger numbers of moles, light skin and hair, and poor tanning ability.
  3. There is a paradox between indoor and outdoor workers’ melanoma incidences and their annual UV (ultraviolet light) exposure. Outdoor workers receive 3-10 times the annual UV doses that indoor worker receive, but have only 50% of the risk for contracting melanoma.
  4. Although most scientists believe that intermittent UV exposures—resulting in sunburns—initiate Melanoma, the creation and use of sunscreens DID NOT [emphasis mine] reduce the incidence of the disease. One of the reasons may be that sunscreens dramatically reduce vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
  5. Sunburns are PROBABLY NOT [emphasis mine] involved in the initiation or growth of melanoma, since a study on opossums showed that intense sunlight doses of UVB produced significantly fewer melanomas than sub-erythemal (non reddening) doses. Also, outdoor workers do get numerous sunburns but still have dramatically lower risk of contracting melanoma.
  6. Do melanomas occur more on areas of the body where the sun never shines.

The authors go on to theorize that a lower level of vitamin D, among those who receive inadequate sunlight, could be a major reason for the exponential increase of melanoma in European countries where the UV (sunlight) exposure is minimal. Another reason they suggest is infection with human papilloma virus (HPV).

Whatever the theories suggest about the cause of high melanoma incidence accompanying low sunlight or UV exposure, the equation remains the same: THE GREATER THE REGULAR EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT, THE LESSER IS THE RISK OF MELANOMA. Nevertheless, such information sells neither sunscreens nor melanoma surgeries, so don’t stand on one leg until the public believes the truth. However, you can learn the facts and become a soldier in the “sunlight army” by promoting them.

Other research corroborates the idea that outdoor workers experience less melanoma than indoor workers.   Vagero, et al. showed that melanoma was more common among indoor office workers and other indoor workers than among outdoor workers, and Kennedy, et al. showed that a lifetime of sunlight exposure correlated to a reduced risk of melanoma. Garland, et al. showed that those who worked indoors had a 50% greater risk of melanoma than those who worked both indoors and outdoors, and Kaskel, et al. demonstrated that children who engage in outdoor activities are less likely to develop melanoma than those who do not. Many other papers in the scientific literature show that both incidence and death rate from melanoma are reduced with increasing exposure to sunlight.                    

None of these findings is surprising when one considers that whereas common, non-melanoma skin cancers are easily produced in experiments using ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlamps, the same is not true for melanoma, which is difficult to produce with UVR.

This data indicate again that sun exposure is not responsible for the increase in melanoma, and that the decrease in sun exposure may be a factor in the reported exponential melanoma increase.

9.    Do most melanomas occur on areas of the body that have a high sun exposure?

If sun exposure is the reason for the increase in melanoma, then it would be reasonable to 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. The research by Garland, et al. when assessing the incidence of melanoma occurring at various 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 blacks, melanoma is more common on the soles of the feet and on the lower legs. Based on this data, it would be difficult to make the case that sun exposure is responsible for the increase in melanoma.

It should be mentioned that it is believed that intermittent bursts of intense sunlight that causes sunburn, increases the risk of melanoma, whereas regular exposure reduces the risk and that even on chronically sun-damaged skin, the mutations that lead to melanoma are rare. Even the idea that sunburn causes melanoma is inconsistent with the fact that most melanomas do not occur at burn sites.   The paper by Godar et al.   put forth the hypothesis that lack of sunlight reduces the quantity of vitamin D in the skin, and then cited research showing that the potent hormone form of vitamin D, calcitriol, reduced the incidence, size and number of skin tumors and also reduced invasiveness and metastasis of melanoma in mice. Since regular sunlight exposure correlates to higher vitamin D production and higher levels in the blood, this evidence is plausible and would explain the reasons for reduced melanoma rates among those who are regularly exposed to sun.

Since most melanomas occur on areas of the body that receive little sun exposure, the indication is that sun exposure is not the cause of melanoma.

The answer to the question is no.

10.    Is there a co-morbidity of melanoma with common skin cancers, some of which are known to be caused by sunlight exposure?

There is general agreement that sunlight exposure is one of the causal factors for squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma, also known as non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). However, these cancers do not demonstrate co-morbidity with melanoma. Dr. Grant, after analyzing data from the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, noted that between 1950-1969 and 1970-1994, death rates from NMSC decreased by 31% for white males and by 47% for white females. However, during those same periods, melanoma death rates increased by 89% in white males and 42% for white females.   If one accepts the rate of NMSC as a measure of the cumulative exposure to sunlight, it is reasonable to conclude that sun exposure correlates to a reduced risk of melanoma, and that the lack of exposure increases the risk of melanoma. This is another indication that sun exposure is not responsible for the increase in melanoma.

The answer to question is no.

11.    Has an increase in sunscreen use resulted in a decrease in melanoma?

Sunscreens block sunlight and are intended to decrease sun damage to the skin—damage that is said to increase the risk of melanoma. Sunscreen use has increased considerably in the past few decades. Therefore, if sun exposure is the cause of melanoma as stated by the IMF, there should be a concomitant decrease in melanoma as sunscreen use has increased. According to Kline & Company, a research group, sales of sunscreens in 1972 were $33 million; in 2008, sales were $650 million.   In addition, according to the Fredonia Market Research Group Company, the sales of sunscreens used in cosmetics in 2007 was $130 million.   Therefore, the total sales of sunscreens as of 2007 were $780 million. Considering that a dollar’s value is only about 20% of what it was in 1972, the adjusted 2008 sunscreen expenditures are approximately $156 million, or about 4.7 times the 1972 figure. In other words, sunscreen use has increased by about 4.7 times. Population also grew from 210 million in 1972 to 305 million in 2008–a 50% increase. Adjusting for population growth, it can be concluded that per capita sunscreen use has at least tripled in the time frame being considered.

As previously discussed, melanoma, according to the MIF, has increased steadily and exponentially since 1935. Therefore, the data on increasing sunscreen use does not indicate that sun exposure increases the risk of melanoma. Rather, it indicates that sunscreen use may, by reducing vitamin D production, contribute to the reported increase in melanoma. It has been shown that an SPF 15 sunscreen will decrease sun-stimulated vitamin D production by 99.5%, and it has been suggested that by blocking only UVB light (which stimulates the production of vitamin D in skin) while leaving UVA unblocked, sunscreens ironically may lead to UVA damage of DNA, leading to melanoma. Increasing melanoma rates, coupled with increasing use of sunscreen, lends credence to that hypothesis. Sun exposure, therefore, does not increase risk of melanoma.

The answer to question 5 is no.

12.    Is it possible that the reported pandemic of melanoma is not a pandemic at all, but that the increase” in melanoma” is due to excessive diagnosis of benign lesions?

Writing in the British Medical Journal in 2008, Dr. Sam Shuster, a dermatologist, argued that the purported increase in melanoma is not really an increase, but is caused by excessive diagnosis of non-melanoma lesions being classified as melanoma. In 2009, another study by dermatologists— Shuster and his colleagues—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.” 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,” a finding similar to that discussed in heading #3 above. These dermatologists concluded 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.”

Another celebrated dermatologist, Dr. A Bernard Ackerman, has written a monograph entitled Sunlight and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma: Myth on Myth. In it he reviews extensive research and concludes that melanoma has nothing to do with sunlight exposure; and like the authors of the aforementioned BMJ article, he indicates that excessive diagnosis of benign lesions is responsible for the purported epidemic of melanoma.

Stunningly, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) published a report showing that most melanoma diagnoses may be incorrect. Approximately 44 different authors contributed to the report. They made an accuracy-in-detection analysis based on the number of melanomas that needed to be excised during a period of ten years, compared to the actual number that were excised. Many clinics in different countries were involved in assessing the numbers.

A total of 300,215 cases were found where excision took place. Of those cases, there were 17,172 melanomas that really required excision, and 283,043 that were excised and turned out to be benign lesions. Therefore, there were about 16.5 non-melanoma lesions removed for each lesion that was cancerous, and only about 6% were legitimate cancers. From this information, it is obvious that many melanoma surgeries are bogus and may inflate the incidence of melanoma. The aforementioned Drs. Shuster and Ackerman were correct.

It is obvious that the business of removing benign lesions is a huge money-maker for the doctors that perform them. As the authors stated in their introduction to their research, “Early excision is the only strategy to reduce melanoma mortality, but unnecessary excision of benign lesions increases morbidity and healthcare costs.” It is incredible that they published the report, but we are thankful it was done.

The answer to question 6 is “probably.”

From the research thus far presented, it could be concluded that either melanoma is increasing dramatically and is directly correlated to decreasing sunlight exposure, or that melanoma is not increasing at all, and the “epidemic” of melanoma does not exist. In either case, the statement by the MIF, that sunlight causes melanoma, has no validity.

13.    How do people use the sun as a preventive lifestyle habit without having it turn into something that causes disease?

Stop fearing the sun and simply avoid burning. If one does not tan, follow the advice below, and remember that people who chronically work outdoors have a fraction of the melanoma as those who work indoors. A tan is the very best protection against sun damage. Remember that sunlight exposure is for much more than vitamin D production. Serotonin, nitric oxide, endorphins and perhaps dopamine are all increased. The more the sun, the better the increase. We were never designed to live in a box.

14.    How do you recommend people get sunlight safely?

People should leave the sun or cover up when the first sign of redness occurs. Redheads or non-tanners can sit in the shade and still get vitamin D production. Use sunglasses when looking toward the sun or in extreme glare, but do not wear them otherwise on sunny days.

15.    Comments on sunscreens?

As the use of sunscreens has increased, the incidence of melanoma has increased in lockstep, and the mantra of the sunscreen companies is to use more sunscreen. It is like stating that “as cigarette smoking has increased, lung cancer has increased, therefore smoke more cigarettes.” There is so much that could be said about sunscreens that it might be a topic for another day.

16.    Are there any dermatologists that know you that support your belief and work on the proper use of sunlight? Not avoidance?

Dr. Michael Holick (Boston U) knows me, and he believes much like I do.) Holick is considered to be the most knowledgeable vitamin D scientist. Others that don’t know me, but are or were sunlight advocates are Dr. Bernard Ackerman, a former derm-society president who excoriated his profession in a 500-page monograph called Sunlight and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma: Myth on Myth. He beautifully described the duplicity and hanky-panky that is rife among sunscreen manufacturers and the dermatological societies, American Cancer Society and the Skin Cancer Foundation. Another is a Dr. Sam Shuster of England, who wrote a scientific paper in the British Journal of Dermatology called Is Melanoma a Midsummer Night’s dream? There are others who have warned their colleagues that their message is leading to death and illness. One that comes to mind is Dr. Arthur Rhodes of Rush College.

And times are changing. A national association of dermatologists in the UK has now suggested that people lie in the noonday sun for a few minutes to optimize vitamin D levels. Julie Moore, a dermatologist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, says “The sun is one of the best treatments for psoriasis, so in summer I encourage my patients to sit out on the deck and give their affected areas a good sun bath. Finally, dermatologist Dr. Richard Weller, also of the UK, has stated that for every death caused by sunlight exposure, there are 80 deaths caused by sunlight avoidance, primarily from failure to maintain sufficient nitric-oxide production, which leads to high blood pressure and heart disease.

17.    What dietary factors that we eat protect against skin cancer?

In the rush by dermatologists and sunscreen companies to demonize sunlight exposure as the universal cause of skin cancers, there has been a total disregard for another factor that strongly protects against or strongly promotes skin damage. That factor is what we eat. Nutrition, according to whether it is healthful or noxious, can have either profoundly positive or negative influences on the skin.

As an example, polyphenols are antioxidant phytochemicals that prevent free-radical damage and thus protect the skin. Polyphenols are prevalent in foods such as nuts, seeds, onions, green tea, pomegranates, apples, berries, cherries and other fruits and are also found in grape seeds, as well as vegetables and dried legumes. They also exist in such nutrients as resveratrol and silymarin (milk thistle extract). These nutritional superstars are able to reduce inflammation, quench oxidative stress and thereby prevent free-radical damage to DNA, inhibit immunosuppression, and diminish dysregulation of cellular signaling pathways, thereby reducing the potential for skin cancers.    

Particularly interesting is the fact that green tea extract and other polyphenol-containing products such as grape-seed proanthocyanadins, have been shown to inhibit the formation of skin tumors. Two researchers, writing in the Archives of Dermatological Research, made the following conclusion after a thorough review of literature regarding polyphenols and skin cancer: “Based on the epidemiological evidence and laboratory studies conducted using in vitro and in vivo systems, it is suggested that routine consumption or topical treatment of these polyphenols may provide efficient protection against the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation in humans.”

We might conclude that protective nutrition would include the consumption of several glasses of green tea daily, some dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and other deep greens, and the daily habit of eating dark berries, cherries and other such fruits. But there are other vegetables involved in the fight against skin cancer.

Some of the best skin protectants are tomatoes, which contain the antioxidant lycopene. One investigation showed that among individuals who consumed forty grams of tomato paste daily for ten weeks, sunburn-resistance time increased by 40%, and other research demonstrated that eating other tomato-based products correlated to significantly reduced risk of sunburn after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. And it is also known that individuals with the lowest intake of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and lycopene (all carotenoid antioxidants found in such vegetables as carrots and tomatoes) had a 50% increased risk for melanoma.  

There are several other scientific investigations demonstrating that high fruit and vegetable consumption predict a lesser risk of skin cancer. (Again, the references cited here are only a few of those available.)

One of those investigations studied the relationship between melanoma survival and fruit consumption. Melanoma patients who had their cancers removed—and who had a predicted death rate of 40% within 10 years—were assessed for consumption of fruit and red meat. Daily fruit consumption correlated to a reduced risk of death of 46%. Those who ate red meat at least once weekly showed an increased risk of death of 84%.

Voluminous research on many other cancers show the same relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption: the higher the meat consumption, the higher the risk of death from cancer; the higher the consumption of fruits and vegetables, the lower the risk of cancer. Melanoma is no exception. Regular, non-burning sunlight exposure, coupled with the consumption of large quantities of fruits and vegetables, are the very best protections against cancers, although those are certainly not the only protective factors.

18.    What dietary factors that we eat have a negative or stimulatory effect towards skin cancer?

And what are factors that have negative influences on the risk of skin cancer? Alcohol consumption is one such factor; one piece of research indicated a 250% increased melanoma risk among those who consumed two or more alcoholic drinks per day,   and another demonstrated that those persons that consume seven or more drinks per week had 64% greater risk of melanoma and a 23% greater risk of non-melanoma skin cancer when compared to non-drinkers.   There are at least two other negative dietary habits that correlate to increased skin-cancer risk: first, the highest dairy-product consumption has also been shown to correlate to a 2½ times increase in risk of developing a squamous-cell carcinoma (common skin cancer, not melanoma). Secondly, the types of fats we consume are exceptionally important. The types of fats we consume in junk foods are deadly, both for overall health and for skin cancer. They are filled with free-radical molecules that wreak havoc on the skin; if we eat such fats without massive quantities of colorful fruits and veggies, we will be much more susceptible to skin damage and potential cancer.

To Summarize:   To the extent that sunlight causes skin damage, it does so due to lack of proper nutrients in the diet, and there is little doubt that there will be some damage caused by sun exposure without proper nutrition. Even vitamin D, which protects against so many cancers (including skin cancer), will not be able to completely overcome the deleterious effect of the “suicide diet” that most of us consume.

Be and Stay Well,


You may call Kirk Hamilton PA-C Monday thru Friday 8-9 a.m. PST at 916-489-4400 for brief medical questions at Health Associates Medical Group.

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