The Surprising Truth About Sun Exposure, Sunburn And Skin Cancer


The Surprising Truth About Sun Exposure, Sunburn And Skin Cancer

Learn about how sun exposure, sunburn and skin cancer are linked – the research may surprise you.

Many people believe that avoiding sunlight is an important part of preventing skin cancer. Is this a valid line of thinking? Are you one of those who think this way? If so, you may be in for a surprise, as research suggests that lack of sunlight exposure could in fact increase your risk of dying from skin cancer.

Excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to sunburn, and such tissue damage would increase one’s risk of contracting skin cancer. Therefore, to lower skin cancer risk, it is conventionally suggested that one needs to apply protective agents on one’s skin, ie sunscreen or sunblock lotions, or avoid sunlight altogether. This train of thought does seem largely logical.

Sunlight and vitamin D

However, there is another oft neglected element of this equation. When human skin is exposed to sunlight, a series of reactions take place in the body which leads to the production of vitamin D. And vitamin D has been shown in many, many studies to provide protective as well as therapeutic effects against numerous types of cancer, including skin cancer. In other words, vitamin D not only decreases cancer risk, it also improves survival rates of cancer patients.

A logical analysis of sunlight’s role in skin cancer

The debate on sunlight’s role in skin cancer can be examined deeper, step by step.

1. First and foremost, it is important to note that there are different types of skin cancer. Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer which is often deadly without treatment. This is because melanoma has the tendency to metastasize very quickly to other parts of the body. On the other hand, the fatality rate for non-melanoma skin cancers is very low – less than 0.5% of those who contract such cancers die from the disease. [1] According to United States statistics, one’s chances of dying from food poisoning are over four times higher, and chances of dying from medical errors are over 650 times higher. [1]

2. Thus, it is clear that melanoma is the type of skin cancer which people should be most concerned about.

3. Exposing one’s skin to sunlight in a long-term and excessive manner can indeed increase one’s risk of contracting non-melanoma skin cancer. [1]

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