Thursday, December 8, 2011

IS THE SUN REALLY BAD FOR YOU?

Dr. Robert Brueck MD, feels it is important to keep his patient informed about health subjects, such as skin cancer, especially since his Fort Myers Plastic Surgery practice is in a "hotbed" (pun intended) of sunshine activities.
For years, we have been taught that sun exposure is bad for us– particularly excessive sun exposure. The rates of melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer are surely on the rise. From 1991-2004 the rate per 100,000 people has risen from 9.39% to 13.91%.

The $64,000 question is why? Some feel as we become more aware of this disease pathologists are calling more and more pigmented lesions early melanoma. Wih something as potentially deadly as skin cancer, it surely is better to err on the side of over diagnosis.

The big question is, "Is the sun also the culprit"? There is some research which says melanomas DECREASE with sun exposure and can INCREASE with sunscreen. What is interesting is the rate of melanomas in people who work indoors has been increasing since 1940.

UV light has sun damaging UVA and vitamin D producing UVB. Both can produce tanning and burning. The theory is that office workers get sun through the windows which blocks UVB, hence lower vitamin D levels in skin. Vitamin D is a very strong anti-oxidant. In fact, it is one of nature's most potent anti-cancer agents.

Basically if you get NO sun your body is not producing Vitamin D in your skin with the net result being more skin cancer ie. melanoma. You can take Vitamin D supplements but sunlight producing vitamin D in your skin is a better choice.

Interesting. But, in the end, I think moderation is prudent and wise.

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