Some sun exposure may prevent skin cancer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Some sun exposure may prevent skin cancer

For many Americans, summer fun means summer sun. Doctors recommend staying out of the sun or using sunscreen to reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. But it may not be as simple as that.

When cancer researcher Marianne Berwick examined a large group of melanoma patients for their sun habits prior to getting cancer, she found that more sun seemed to help as well as hurt. "The people who had a lot of sun exposure had less aggressive melanomas, and we also noticed that they survived better." Berwick said.

Berwick explained in 'The Journal of the National Cancer Institute' that the answer may involve vitamin D. Our skin manufactures this cancer-fighting compound when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Berwick warns consumers against misinterpreting the study. "It's a known fact that if you get more sun, your risk of skin cancer goes up. There's no reason to bake yourself in the sun to protect yourself in terms of Vitamin D." she said.

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