On Skin Cancer

Cancer Research UK perpetuate a myth that more than ten minutes of sun exposure to your arms and face will be harmful but is there any evidence for this?

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 north from Africa, darker skinned people suffered from low levels of vitamin D and faired less well. Over thousands of years–with a process of evolution by natural selection–white people have prevailed at this latitude 1. Stark proof that a lack of Sunlight is harmful!

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 an 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 stay in their natural habitat the sun will 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 CRUK’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.

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.

 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.

 Smoking

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

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!

If you think we’re having the wool pulled over our eyes, let me tell you that PR Managers working for Cancer Research UK earn up to £37,000.