Posts Tagged ‘vitamin d deficiency’

Buyer Beware: Billboard of Half Truths

Friday, November 20th, 2009

How many of you have seen the billboards or other material that states “Vitamin D from Tanning Beds and Sunshine can reduce your risk of Breast Cancer by 75%”? It even displays a pink ribbon that mimics the pink ribbon used by the American Breast Cancer Association. Look closely…DO NOT BE FOOLED.  Though similar, it is not the same pink ribbon of support used by the American Breast Cancer Association, nor was the ABCA in support or even aware of this marketing campaign when I called them. The American Breast Cancer Association doesn’t make a recommendation to use a tanning bed or sun bathe. Touting tanning as a measure to prevent breast cancer is not only scientifically unfounded by peer review, but is incredibly self-defeating to those who heed the tanning industries misleading advise.

Those involved in this marketing campaign, extracted theories from on-going studies that report that there is some link between Vitamin D Deficiency and certain cancers such as breast cancer, along with other disorders including but not limited to depression, autism, and osteoporosis and so on.  Please understand these studies have not concluded that Vitamin D Deficiency is a cause of illnesses such as breast cancer.  They are only stating that there is evidence that those with certain illnesses are often also Vitamin D deficient. They then crossed that information with the fact that one way to increase vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight or a tanning bed and came up with an unconscionable advertisement.

Vitamin D levels can be increased through various options.  Some are safe.  Some are not.  Some options have a positive effect on the body in general while other options are scientifically proven carcinogens.  I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t make much sense to me to expect to lessen my chance of developing breast cancer by using a method (tanning) that is proven to cause other forms of cancer such as deadly skin cancers, cancers of the eye, other health issues and pre-mature aging (wrinkles, brown spots, broken blood vessels, sagging, discolored skin).  How about you?

The safe options to increase Vitamin D levels include:

  1. Oral calcium supplements that include vitamin D.
  2. Diet – according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (NIH) including salmon, tuna, beef liver, eggs, orange juice, milk, yogurt, and some cereals in your diet will increase your vitamin D intake naturally.

Options to increase vitamin D that are proven to cause cancer and pre-mature aging:

  1. UV radiation from the sun
  2. UV radiation from tanning beds

Earlier this summer, Lancet Oncology announced that the rating on tanning beds has been moved from a “probable” cause of skin cancer to a “DEFINATE” cause of skin cancer.  This means that tanning beds are now a PROVEN carcinogen, just like cigarettes / nicotine.  UV radiation not only makes you look “old” before you time, it can KILL you.

According to statistics provided by Dr. Brooke Rutleadge Seckel, Assistant Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School, in 1935, Americans had a 1 in 1500 risk of developing invasive melanoma in their lifetime.  By 2001 that number increased to 1 in 74.  Today, it is 1 in 50!  Over ONE MILLION new cases of squamous and basal cell skin cancers will be diagnosed this year along with more than 60,000 cases of Melanoma (the deadliest of skin cancers).

I understand that many people are convinced that in order for their skin to look attractive, it must be tan, have “some color.”  But, I think you’ll have to agree that no matter how tan your skin is, there is nothing SEXY about a cancerous lesion on your face! Healthy, radiant skin of any color is beautiful skin.  This means skin that is soft, supple, well hydrated and free of discolorations such as brown spots, yellowing, and broken vessels. One can have a nice bone structure, a bright smile, a bubbly personality yet nothing is as salient as glowing, undamaged skin.

I am no way judging tanning salon owners for their choice of business or those whom choose to tan.  Every adult has the right to make that choice.  I am however, objecting to the attempt to mislead the public for an industries own growth.  Every adult has the right to freedom of choice.  I just think you also have the duty to be correctly informed of the benefits and consequences of any choice.  I believe it to be a sad day in America when those affiliated with this campaign and industry (tanning) are willing to show such little regard for human health…for human life…

Roxanne, Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
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