Skin-Cancer-Prevention

Vitamin D and Calcium supplementation may reduce risk of melanoma in women with history of skin cancer.

In an abstract presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in February, researchers reported findings of decreased risk of melanoma in women with history of basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin if they took a daily calcium and Vitamin D supplement.

They looked at retrospective (in the past) data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study. One aspect of that study had randomized women to either placebo or a daily supplement of 1000mg of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D to study risk of hip fractures. There was no difference noted in the general population of women; however, when they looked at women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer – either basal cell or squamous cell cancer – the risk of melanoma was reduced by 55% in the group that took the calcium and Vitamin D. There was no change in the risk of breast cancer or colon cancer.

Because persons who have had a basal cell or squamous cell cancer are at higher risk to get a melanoma, this easy supplementation in addition to sun protection and regular skin checks may be a useful method to prevent more serious melanoma.

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