It's Time To Stop Perpetuating The Myth That Sunlight Causes Cancer
An individual’s view of health determinants is directly correlated to their sources and how they process information. Regardless of its accuracy, when something is repeated a sufficient number of times, people will start to believe it. The cancer and sunscreen industries have made it their mission to convince the world that sunlight is a primary cause of skin cancer, when it fact it has been shown to prevent it. In fact, considerable evidence shows that blocking the sun's rays from reaching our skin with, for example sunscreen, significantly decreases our uptake of vitamin D levels, leading to higher mortality, critical illness, mental health disorders and cancer itself.
The southern hemisphere is currently experiencing record temperatures raising the mercury to levels many regions have never experienced. Some climatologists have stated that the trend will continue in the northern hemisphere come July. With these hot temperature come extreme warnings from public health officials to slather on the sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and specifically protect us from melanoma.
Is melanoma deadly? It definitely can be.
There are more than 70,000 cases in the US alone every year and almost 10,000 people will die of the disease yearly. Melanoma accounts for less than two percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Of the seven most common cancers in the US, melanoma is the only one whose incidence is increasing. Between 2000 and 2009, incidence climbed 1.9 percent annually. It's also the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.
Now what's fascinating is the claim by public health watchdogs that almost 90 percent of melanomas are attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. They claim that regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
What's interesting is how many people never stop to think about how humans survived on this planet for thousands of years working outside for hours on end before the industrial era. There was no sunscreen. There was common sense and people were not getting skin cancer. Oh my, how did we ever make it without sunscreen, drugs, and vaccines for thousands of years and suddenly we can't survive without them? All of these artificial substances do not increase a healthy life expectancy, they increase a diseased life expectancy. People are far more sick and ill today than they ever were a century ago. Yes they are living longer, but at what expense?
It's also interesting
how when traveling from either pole to the equator, UV exposure increases up to 5000% whereas ozone depletion only increases UV exposure by 20%. If UVB exposure and ozone depletion were the cause of skin cancer, those populations living closest to the equator would be diagnosed with malignant melanoma at a phenomenal frequency. The opposite is true.
Sunlight DOES NOT Cause Skin Cancer, It's Your Best DefenseAgainst Cancer
Exposure to ultraviolet B radiation in sunlight provides the mechanism for more than 90% of the vitamin D production in most individuals. The widespread use of sunscreens, particularly those with high sun protection factors (SPF), may lead to a significant decrease in solar-induced previtamin D3 in the skin, resulting in a vitamin D level which is insufficient for protection against a wide range of diseases.
The results, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that women who had at least 21 hours a week exposure to the sun’s UV rays in their teens were 29 percent less likely to get cancer than those getting under an hour a day.
For women who spent the most time out side in their forties and fifties, the risk fell by 26 percent and for those above 60, sunshine halved their chances of a tumour.
For melanoma, it is only latitudinal variation that favours the hypothesis of sun exposure causation. It is postulated that skin temperature by itself may suffice to account for the observed variation of melanoma with latitude. The higher incidence of melanoma in the higher social classes and its increasing incidence with age may be readily explained by the hypothesis that melanoma incidence increases with increase in skin temperature which scientists have incorrectly linked to the sun as the primary causative factor.
No scientific literature has ever proven that sunlight causes cancer in human beings. Most studies that have attempted to find a cause have only found correlations and many scientists have established the the toxicity level of the human body which reacts with the UV spectrum is what causes cancer, not the sunlight itself.
It's been known that vitamin D can prevent the genetic damage the leads to cancer. When vitamin D binds to specific receptors, it sets off a chain of events by which many toxic agents including cancer cells are rendered harmless. However, if there is not enough vitamin D the system can become overwhelmed and cancer can develop. "This is one of the reasons that people living closest to the equator have a much lower incidence (or absence) of specific cancers which consequently increase in locations further from the equator," said McGill professor Dr. John White.
Dr. Anthony Petaku who studies the effects of Vitamin D2 and D3 on mutating cells, says the incidence of disease increases the further away we are from the equator. "The millions of people who live near the equator are not susceptible to the same level of disease or even the same diseases as those who live further from the equator," he stated. Dr. Petaku has found that latitude studies which are observational on vitamin D and disease show a clear correlation between solar UV radiation, latitude and vitamin D status. "Almost every disease decreases in frequency and duration as we move towards equatorial populations, and the data shows that there is a minimum of a 1000 percent increase for many diseases in countries furthest from the equator..." he concluded.
Although vitamin D can be obtained from limited dietary sources and directly from exposure to the sun during the spring and summer months, the combination of poor dietary intake and sun avoidance has created vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in large proportions of many populations worldwide. It is known that vitamin D has a wide range of physiological effects and that correlations exist between insufficient amounts of vitamin D and an increased incidence of a number of cancers. These correlations are particularly strong for cancers of the digestive tract, including colon cancer, and certain forms of leukemia.
Both UVA and UVB can cause tanning and burning, although UVB does so far more rapidly. UVA, however, penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB.
UVB appears to be protective against melanoma -- or rather, the vitamin D your body produces in response to UVB radiation is protective.
"Paradoxically, outdoor workers have a decreased risk of melanoma compared with indoor workers, suggesting that chronic sunlight exposure can have a protective effect."
So if UVA and UVB do not cause melanoma, why use sunscreen?
Sunscreen Causes Cancer And DOES NOT Prevent It
If the sun was REALLY causing skin cancer, and if sunscreen prevented it, we’d be cancer-free by now. We’re already spending less time outside than ever, and wasting billions of dollars a year on needless, dangerous creams and lotions.
The sunscreen industry makes money by selling lotion products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like Cancer Societies which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads and charity events such as Relay For Life urging people to donate and use sunscreen to "prevent cancer."
The cancer establishment has retreated from the truth. What began as sincere investigation into the economic root causes of a complex set of 200 different diseases, at the turn of the 20th century, quickly degenerated into a single-minded focus. All cancer societies are now dedicated to funding drug companies to "find the cure" that will never exist, at least not from any mainstream institution.
Comprehensive scientific reviews indicate that 83% of 785 sunscreen products contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Only 17% of the products on the market block both UVA and UVB radiation which is the intended purpose by manufacturers of sunscreen, so what's the point? The assessment by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database was based on a review of nearly 400 scientific studies, industry models of sunscreen efficacy, and toxicity and regulatory information housed in nearly 60 government, academic, and industry databases.
At least 50% of products on the market bear claims that are considered "unacceptable" or misleading under sunscreen safety standards. An analysis of marketing claims on hundreds of sunscreen bottles shows that false and misleading marketing claims are common. They give consumers a false sense of security (based on myths) with claims like "all day protection," "mild as water," and "blocks all harmful rays" which are completely untrue, yet are found on bottles. Consumers might assume that, because researchers have implicated ultraviolet light in skin cancer development, sunscreen automatically thwarts skin cancer. They play on this consumer bandwagon of fear and hope on an issue shouldn't even be an issue...blocking the sun!
Scientists have reported that particle size affects the toxicity of zinc oxide, a material widely used in sunscreens. Particles smaller than 100 nanometers are slightly more toxic to colon cells than conventional zinc oxide. Solid zinc oxide was more toxic than equivalent amounts of soluble zinc, and direct particle to cell contact was required to cause cell death. Their study is in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.
Another common and toxic ingredient in sunscreens is titanium dioxide. New research published in ACS' journal, Environmental Science & Technology found that Children may be receiving the highest exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. The geometry of titanium dioxide (TiO2) based nanofilaments appears to play a crucial role in cytotoxicity having a strong dose-dependent effect on cell proliferation and cell death.
Marco Torresis a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.