ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — Patients with basal cell nevus syndrome, which predisposes them to develop non-melanoma skin cancers, appear to be at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency if they take steps to protect themselves from sunlight, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
“Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, fractures, cancer, cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality,” the authors write as background information in the article. “There is increasing concern that sun protection, recommended by dermatologists to prevent further UV damage in populations susceptible to skin cancer, may result in abnormally low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D, a blood measure of vitamin D levels], which may have subsequent detrimental effects on health.”
Jean Y. Tang, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University Medical Center, Redwood City, Calif., and colleagues studied 41 patients with basal cell nevus syndrome, who are genetically predisposed to develop basal cell carcinomas. Individuals with this condition usually develop multiple basal cell carcinomas in young adulthood, as opposed to most cases of sporadic basal cell carcinoma, which occur in the sixth to seventh decades of life. Patients with basal cell nevus syndrome generally try to prevent skin cancers by using sunscreen and avoiding the sun during peak hours.
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