Vitamin D deficiency may reduce survival in skin cancer

In a study from the Hospital University Son Espases, scientists found that vitamin D levels affect overall survival for melanoma (skin cancer) patients.

They discovered that those who were deficient in vitamin D (lower than 10ng/mL) following their melanoma diagnosis were twice as likely to have lower overall survival than those with vitamin D levels equal/greater than 10ng/mL.

In the study, the team analyzed a cohort of 264 patients with invasive melanoma from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona.

They examined the differences in overall survival and melanoma-specific survival between groups.

The findings remained significant even when the team controlled other factors related to skin cancer.

The researchers say although previous research has identified that normal levels of vitamin D play a protective role in melanoma survival, this study aimed to further understand this link.

These findings suggest that vitamin D has a significant impact on people with melanoma, showing in particular that vitamin D deficient patients have lower overall survival.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give skin color) grow uncontrollably.

In 2020 it was estimated that melanomas accounted for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses and 1.3 % of all cancer deaths in Europe.

Of these cases, 50,972 were diagnosed in women and 55,597 were diagnosed in men. There were 7,031 deaths in women and 9,457 in men in Europe in 2020.

The team says the mechanisms underlying the association between vitamin D and melanoma overall survival still require further research.

But this study will encourage further research examining whether vitamin D supplements may have the ability to improve the prognosis for vitamin D deficient melanoma patients and increase their overall survival.

If you care about skin health, please read studies about a common drug that may protect you from skin cancer, and when should you see a dermatologist.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about vegetable oil linked to the spread of cancer, and results showing common blood pressure drugs may cause chronic skin disease.

The study was conducted by Dr. Inés Gracia-Darder et al and presented at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.

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