Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, arising from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. It is the fifth most common cancer in the UK (2014), accounting for 4% of all new cases. In 2014, there were 15,419 new cases of melanoma skin cancer in the UK with a male to female ratio of around 1:1.1
Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure and sun beds is an accepted risk factor for the development of melanoma. The pattern particularly associated with melanoma risk is intermittent exposure to high-intensity sunlight such as that experienced on holidays in sunny climes.2
The relationship between vitamin D, sun exposure and melanoma is complicated and not yet fully elucidated. We will discuss this relationship further and explain what current advice is given to UK melanoma patients regarding this topic.