Reflections: Do benefits from sun exposure outshine cancer risk?

Medical studies, I believe, exist in a vacuum. They’re unmindful of the past, uncaring of the future, existing only for the moment.

How else to explain why scientists and doctors seemingly just ache for contradiction?

By the time there is an emergence of a consensus, patients morph into cadavers. OK, a bit of hyperbole there, but you get the point.

The American Academy of Dermatology maintains that the harmful effects of sunlight outweigh the benefits of vitamin D production.


The National Institutes of Health says it’s prudent to limit sun exposure but also notes that some vitamin D researches suggest getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure twice a week -- sans sunscreen.

What we have here, my friends, is a veritable Sophie’s choice.

Nobody is itching to get melanoma. It’s just not a good look and can be dire. Melanoma can make you regret spending years acquiring a caramel tan.

On the other hand, some researchers think that splashing on sunscreen may contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents.

Sunshine and vitamin D kick butt against lymphoma and breast, colon, prostate, kidney and ovarian cancers. Studies have linked vitamin D from sun exposure to benefits in overall mortality, multiple sclerosis, bone health and the occurrence of cardiovascular events in hypertensive patients.

And here’s the real kicker: Although milk, cod liver oil and supplements can supply vitamin D, solar radiation is still the main source for humans.

So, it seems best to work on those tans. Scientists claim even if you get skin cancer, it’s rarely going to kill you. But other types of cancer can put you on a cemetery shopping spree.

People with tans look healthier. Now it seems they indeed are healthier.

Moderation may be the answer to our dilemma. Bask in the sun without sunscreen occasionally. But wear sunscreen the majority of the time. Call it The Wisdom of King Solomon solution.