Skin cancer: vitamin D would increase the chances of healing

Vitamin D levels may influence the survival of people with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

We know that vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of suffering from cancer. But according to a new study presented at the 31st congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, it would seem that a good level of vitamin D would also have an influence on the survival of people treated for melanoma.

Dermatology researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Spain) analyzed a cohort of 264 patients with invasive melanoma to determine whether vitamin D could play a protective role in melanoma survival. They found that patients who were deficient in vitamin D (below 10 ng/mL) after their diagnosis of melanoma were twice as likely (hazard ratio 2.3) to have poorer overall survival than those whose vitamin D levels were equal to or greater than 10 ng/mL. “Our conclusions show, in particular, that patients suffering from melanoma who are deficient in vitamin D have a lower overall survival,” underlines Dr. Inés Gracia-Darder, lead author of the study.

Vitamin D: how to avoid being deficient

“Although the mechanisms underlying the association between vitamin D and overall melanoma survival require further investigation, this study should encourage scientists to investigate whether vitamin D supplementation may have the ability to improve the melanoma prognosis,” adds Dr. Gracia-Darder. But while waiting for the results of this research, there is no need to supplement yourself with vitamin D. To be sure you don’t lack this vitamin, think about the foods that contain the most of it to prepare your menus for the week.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give skin color) grow out of control. Its incidence has increased sharply in recent years, in particular due to exposure to the sun and UV rays. In France, it is estimated that melanoma kills 1700 people each year. And scientists estimate that one in five people could be affected by melanoma in the years to come.

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