By menhc October 12, 2023 0 Comments

How to Take Vitamin D and Melatonin Supplements After Melanoma

Conclusions from the available research indicate that adequate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D may affect the prognosis of both primary and metastatic melanomas [1, 2]. [3] Blood concentrations should stay between 50 and 80 ng/dL.


When exposed to the combination of cancer-causing UV light and oxidation, melatonin and its metabolites shield the skin and help guard the DNA there.


The whole truth

I, like many others, thought it would never happen to me. One of our doctors had never mentioned the mole to me before, but after a recent meeting she went to me and said, “I really don’t like the looks of that mole, and I think you should see someone.”


That’s when it hit me: I am a walking, talking poster child for skin cancer.


Everything was against me.

My eyes are green, and my skin is pale. While I was a kid in SoCal, I never once thought to put on sunscreen. I’ve had more sunburns and peels than I care to remember. I have moles and freckles all over my body, and while my skin does ultimately tan, they are very noticeable. To put it another way, I am a textbook example of skin type II.


And here you were thinking I was an expert. Both of my parents work in the medical field, so I never lacked information regarding the dangers of sun exposure. Working at Skylab, where I have frequent interactions with medical professionals, serves as yet another daily reminder. The huge, irregular mole on my right temple (which I believed I was examining constantly) was even pointed out to me by acquaintances who had suffered from skin cancer themselves.


All of that went unnoticed by me until the day my dermatologist called to tell me, “You have melanoma. To your fortunate fortune, though, you have the good and bad sort.


A malignant melanoma of the skin?

Melanoma in situ is the “bad” form of skin cancer, meaning that my melanoma was in its early stages and was still localized to the epidermis. My mole isn’t even on the highway yet, as one of the doctors who examined it put it. Even now, it remains in the garage. This meant that the procedure to treat me would be quick and easy. The mole was easily removed surgically, and my surgeon left a healthy margin around it for precaution.


Although my dermatologist suggested Mohs surgery, I opted to have my procedure performed by a melanoma specialist at the RCC Institute instead. His method involved taking a biopsy around the entire area to establish a clean margin and then performing a radical excision.


Cancer, as I was informed by more than one doctor, is not a fighter. During the diagnostic biopsy, my mole had already been touched once. It made sense to wait to touch it again until it was completely gone. The worry is that if even a few cancer cells are able to break off during therapy and spread to other parts of the body, the likelihood of a recurrence increases. I agreed that we should take the most cautious approach.


A Strategy for Actively Following Up

The skin’s DNA is protected from the carcinogenic effects of UV radiation thanks to melatonin and its metabolites.

It took me two years, but I finally listened to sound advice. To protect my skin from the sun, I use sunscreen daily and wear long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Every three months, I also go in for a skin check. Which, incidentally, found a second pre-cancerous mole developing between my toes six months after my surgery!


When it comes to preventing skin cancer, I now also take the recommendations of our naturopathic doctors, who had previously been unknown to me. Dr.  provides a more thorough explanation than I could ever hope to:


Eating vitamin D-rich foods like mushrooms, salmon, and eggs and taking a vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplement if your blood level is too low will help you maintain a healthy vitamin D balance. High levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood have been linked to a reduced risk of melanoma [1] and have been shown to alter the prognosis of both primary and metastatic melanomas [2]. [3] Vitamin D testing using a blood spot is quick and accurate.


The skin is the biggest organ responsible for melatonin synthesis in the body; however, this hormone is produced all over the body. When exposed to a cocktail of cancer-inducing UV photons and oxidation, melatonin and its metabolites shield the skin and help protect the DNA there against neoplastic tendencies. Surprised? Recent research has shown that applying a 12.5% melatonin cream to the skin prior to sun exposure can prevent sunburns. [4] Wow, that’s one crucial little molecule!


The diurnal cycles of cortisol and melatonin should be monitored. Many types of malignancy, including melanoma of the skin, have been linked to diurnal dysrhythmias. [5] [6]


Becoming a Force for Change

It took some time, but I finally embraced the cooler climate after growing up a sun worshipper in sunny Southern California. These days, I prefer wearing long sleeves. Now I also have a good assortment of caps. And I feel more savvy knowing that I’m protecting myself with more than just sunscreen.


In addition, I enjoy encouraging others to have regular skin checks, especially if their personal history is similar to mine. It’s fitting to begin now, during Melanoma Awareness Month. The advantages are priceless.

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