JUMPINGSPIDER.CO.UK – blogging at its jumpiest

On Skin Cancer

Cancer Research UK insist that more than ten minutes of sun exposure to your arms and face will be harmful but is there any evidence for this? Could the opposite be true?

It’s well known that Vitamin D is absolutely vital for good health but our skin requires exposure to sunlight to synthesise it, so in northern latitudes dark skin can be a problem because it blocks what little UV there is. When humankind first migrated from Africa to Northern Europe, darker skinned people effectively died out—for whatever reason. Over 50,000 years, with a process of evolution by natural selection–light skinned people have prevailed at this latitude. Stark proof that we benefit from exposure to Sunlight and it seems likely that our skin colour has adjusted to make the most of it.

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as an epidemic in the United States. – National Library of Medecine

Until recent times people worked mostly outside in the open air, fair skinned people would gradually build up a tan in the spring and be fully prepared for hot sunny days and the moderate UV levels of the British summer. Our UV levels are nowhere near as high as in Australia or Africa but any indigenous population will surely have a skin tone that is perfectly suited to the UV levels found at their latitudes–why else would Aborigines be dark with black hair and Norwegians white and fair? As long as people stayed in their natural habitat the sun did not cause a health problem – quite the reverse.

But Cancer Research UK publish guidelines for schools that suggest implementing a policy of slapping copious quantities of sunscreen on all our children. It’s a load of toxic chemicals that block healthy vitamin D production, seep into the kids’ bloodstream and actually cause other cancers and pollution. Like all CR-UK’s publications everything is kept simplistic and indeed it’s so facile there’s not even a distinction made for light or dark skinned pupils. You can read on their vainglorious website what wonderful things they are doing to help beat skin cancer but since the 70’s deaths have risen 185% – something they fail to explain.

Sunscreen only blocks UVB (about 95% if properly applied) which prevents sunburn and tanning but it is virtually transparent to UVA which makes up over 90% of all solar ultraviolet energy. So sunscreen is stopping skin from tanning (providing natural protection from the sun) and it allows people to bathe in UVA for hours which may explain the why the incidence of skin cancer is rising in line with its use. Ref: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8287144/

 There are many sites in the body where vitamin D is active and the way it works is complex and not fully understood, however it’s widely reported to help prevent many illnesses including cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular and infectious diseases and osteoporosis. Even if moderate sun exposure did lead to a few thousand skin cancers, to look at it from such a narrow point of view, with no regard to possible health benefits in other areas, is wrong. And could be creating a public health disaster resulting from by a general lack of vitamin D in our population. Ref: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/6/1678S/4690512

 Air Pollution

This is a major cause of cancer but seems to be a field that Cancer Research UK will barely acknowledge, even though it’s a major cause of ill health, lung and throat cancer. They prefer to perpetuate another myth–that one day all cancers will be defeated by their heroic (well paid) scientists.


Again they would have us believe they’re on the brink of curing lung cancer but I think this just gives smokers false hope. It’s not going to happen and far better to give smokers the truth: that they are likely to die a horrible premature death if they don’t give it up. Cancer Research UK’s glowing article ‘Our Impact on Lung Cancer‘ fails to mention that since 1970 lung cancer among women has risen 67%, or that it in the over-eighties it has tripled.

Breast Cancer

Their publication: ‘Our impact on breast cancer‘ tells us that since 1970 five-year survival rates from breast cancer have improved from 5/10 people to 8/10 but it fails to mention that the incidence of breast cancer among British women has risen by 72% since 1970. Not so much success there either!

Current job vacancies at Cancer Research UK include: Head of Philanthropy Campaign and Engagement, Salary: circa £65,000 (with flexibility commensurate with experience). A chance to wine and dine with some extremely wealthy donors? Cancer has become a profitable industry for some people.

1 Comment

  1. JEH

    Trust me I’m a doctor. BBC2 15th October
    This show’s ethos was to dispel myths surrounding medical advice, so they ran an experiment to see how Vitamin D might be boosted using three different methods: eating certain oily fish three times a week, taking vitamin pills or exposure to the Sun with a 10 minute stroll every day.
    The final results showed that all three methods gave a useful boost to Vitamin D levels but actually the Sun was the least effective of the three–proof surely that 10 minutes exposure isn’t enough. So what was the advice at the end of the show? Roll up your sleeves and go outside for ten minutes! When will doctors start basing their advice on evidence? And what would be the harm if Michael Mosley took off his shirt and got a proper dose all over instead of limiting his exposure to face and arms? Once again evidence based medical advice eludes us.


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