Surgical Oncology News

This section features a sampling of news related to surgical oncology from the popular press, from press releases received, or SSO news directly pertinent to SSO members.

Vitamin D levels linked to certain skin cancers, study finds

Author: Amanda Gardner, HealthDay News
Date:
Aug 15, 2011

The higher a person's vitamin D levels, the higher the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, finds new research.

But the study, appearing in the Aug. 15 issue of the Archives of Dermatology, stops short of saying that high vitamin D levels might actually cause these types of cancer, the most common malignancies in the United States.

And because ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure is necessary for vitamin D production in the body, it might simply mean that people with more sun exposure tend to develop more non-melanoma skin cancers. It's unclear whether it's the damage from UV rays that accounts for the risk, or rising vitamin D levels that accompany exposure to the rays.

"This adds to the murky water [surrounding the relationship between vitamin D and skin cancer]," said [SSO Member] Dr. Vijay Trisal, assistant professor of surgical oncology at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. "Is it vitamin D or sun exposure? The two go hand-in-hand."

Other scientists have investigated a possible relationship between vitamin D and skin cancer, but so far the results have been limited and conflicting.

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