Sunshine might stop certain cancers
from growing, including skin cancers, according to two
One found it helped beat the deadly
skin cancer malignant melanoma. The other found the
sun helped with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
It could be down to the vitamin D made
by sun-exposed skin, the Journal of the National Cancer
Experts warned too much sun could cause
cancer and advised people to protect themselves against
The lymphoma study, by Swedish researchers
at the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University together
with scientists from Denmark, found UV rays from the
sun and sun lamps reduced the risks of developing cancer
They based their findings on interviews
with more than 3,000 lymphoma patients and 3,000 healthy
members of the public.
Meanwhile, researchers at the University
of New Mexico in Albuquerque looked at the influence
of sun exposure on the risk of dying from malignant
They found melanoma patients with higher
levels of sun exposure were less likely to die than
fellow melanoma patients.
Previous studies have hinted that skin
cells damaged by the sun commit suicide, thereby cutting
the risk of cancer.
Alternatively, it might be the increased
production of vitamin D which reduces cancer risk, said
Be sun 'savvy'
Cancer Research UK experts said it
was also possible that patients who already had melanoma
and a lot of sun exposure were prone to less aggressive
CRUK's Dr Julia Newton Bishop said:
"We should view with caution the assertion that sunlight
may be beneficial for melanoma overall.
"There is no doubt that sun exposure
causes melanoma in the first place.
"Therefore, the public health message
should remain unchanged.
"It's important to remember that covering
up during the peak hours of sunshine, seeking shade
and wearing factor 15 plus sunscreen, as advised in
Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign, are still the
best ways to avoid sunburn that can lead to skin cancer."