Monday, December 14, 2009

Melanoma: Midsummer Night’s Dream or Vitamin D-Deficiency Nightmare?

One of the most interesting medical research papers to arrive in recent memory is a 2009 study reported in the British Journal of Dermatology entitled, “Melanoma epidemic: a midsummer night’s dream?” [1] In it the authors make the case that melanoma is not caused by sunlight, but rather by an increasing diagnosis of benign lesions as melanoma. In other words, small spots on the skin that are harmless, and that in the past would have been classified as benign, are now being called stage-one melanoma. The authors point out that new diagnoses of stage-one melanoma have increased dramatically over the past few years, but new diagnoses of stage-two, -three and -four melanomas have not increased at all.

Some have suggested that the lack of increase in the latter stages of Melanoma is due to quick removal of the type-one melanomas, which prevents their progression to full-blown cancers. However, the authors point out that those in the study with type-two, three and four melanomas had not been previously diagnosed with type-one, and therefore could not have been “saved” by removal of type-one; the advanced cases were new presentations--people who had not been previously diagnosed with any stage of melanoma.

The case of these dermatologists—that melanoma is a “midsummer night’s dream”—is compelling. Obviously, millions of people who had nothing more than harmless lesions have been diagnosed with melanoma and have had their lesions removed surgically.

The researchers ended their analysis with this statement: “These findings should lead to a reconsideration of the treatment of ‘early’ lesions, a search for better diagnostic methods to distinguish them from truly malignant melanomas, re-evaluation of the role of ultraviolet radiation and recommendations for protection from it, as well as the need for a new direction in the search for the cause of melanoma.”

I can only say “amen” to this conclusion. However, these are not the first dermatologists to question the “epidemic” of melanoma and deny that sunlight is the cause. Dr. Bernard Ackerman, a celebrated dermatologist, wrote a monograph of several hundred pages entitled, Sunlight and the “Epidemic’ of Melanoma, Myth on Myth, in which he made the same argument about the supposed melanoma epidemic being due to incorrect diagnoses.[2] Dr. Arthur Rhodes, another dermatologist, has also given examples of many people who have died with real melanoma that occurred on areas of the body that were never exposed to sunlight.[3] These unfortunate people, believing that the lesions they discovered could not be melanoma because there was no sun exposure, failed to get help until it was too late.

Meanwhile, the world becomes more and more deficient in vitamin D due to the efforts of the “sunscare” movement that would have us believe that sunlight, one of God’s greatest gifts to living beings, is public enemy number one. This has resulted in incredible rates of vitamin D deficiency which have further resulted in an increase in at least 18 major cancers including breast, prostate and colon cancers. It has also resulted in increasing rates of heart disease, infections including flu, autism, and numerous other maladies that I discuss and fully document in my book. Never has there been a greater fraud than the push to scare people out of the sun to avoid a disease—melanoma—that is not an epidemic at all, and whose risk is increased by sun avoidance. Non-burning sunlight exposure is absolutely necessary for optimal human health.

Not only is the “epidemic” of melanoma a midsummer night’s dream, it has become a vitamin D-deficiency nightmare.

[1] N.J. Levell, C.C. Beattie,* S. Shuster and D.C. Greenberg* Melanoma epidemic: a midsummer night’s dream? British Journal of Dermatology 2009;161:630–634
[2] Ackerman, A. Sun and the “Epidemic” of Melanoma, Myth on Myth. Ardor Scribendi, LTD, New York, 2008
[3] Rhodes, A. Guest editorial, Melanoma’s Public Message. Skin and Allergy News 2003;34:1-4

9 comments:

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Sara Reid said...

Now i can get that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to Rickets, Osteomalacia, and Osteoporosis. People who are exposed to normal quantities of sunlight do not need vitamin D supplements because sunlight promotes sufficient vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Today, Many societies around the world wore more clothing over the centuries, further reducing skin exposure to sunlight. These changes have brought with them a significant reduction in the natural production of vitamin D and subsequent diseases.

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Medical Information said...

Malignant Melanoma is a type of cancer which originates on skin. It can appear as a mole. It is even found in younger age bracket. It appears in the leg for females and for males, it is found on chest or back area. Those who have dark skin tone, are less likely to develop melanoma. Immediately diagnosing is very important, else it can worsen the situation. If anyone observes symptoms of it, should consult to doctor immediately. For more information on it, refer Stages of melanoma

Annette Taylor said...

I just read your book and it is the first health book that makes sense to me. God gave us the sun for our health as well as heat.

I know you wrote a book on nutrition some time ago....I would like to read more about your nutritional thoughts.

I seldom use sun screen and love to sit in the sun. I'm 78 and very healthy.

Jason Smith said...

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Hubert Haley said...

This has resulted in incredible rates of vitamin D deficiency which have further resulted in an increase in at least 18 major cancers including breast, prostate and colon cancers. It has also resulted in increasing rates of heart disease, infections including flu, autism, and numerous other maladies that I discuss and fully document in my book. Never has there been a greater fraud than the push to scare people out of Cialis Online the sun to avoid a disease—melanoma—that is not an epidemic at all, and whose risk is increased by sun avoidance. Non-burning sunlight exposure is absolutely necessary for optimal human health.

kaney said...

Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. For anyone, and in particular those at greatest risk, regular self-examinations are important. Periodic physician examinations are also critical and lesions founds by a physician usually catch the progression of melanoma sooner, resulting in a better chance for a cure.

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