ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Eat Light - Live Longer
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
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Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival

(HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of vitamin D are linked to less severe, less deadly melanoma lesions in people with skin cancer, new research suggests.

The findings provide more support for the idea that vitamin D is crucial to skin health. Many Americans, however, don't get enough of it, perhaps because they limit sun exposure and drink less milk than in the past.

"Although avoiding sunburn is very important in order to prevent melanoma, it is also important to avoid becoming deficient in vitamin D," said Dr. Julia A. Newton-Bishop, a dermatology professor at the University of Leeds in England and a study co-author. "This is especially important for melanoma patients in whom low vitamin D levels appear to be harmful."

Newton-Bishop and her research colleagues looked at the medical records of 872 people with melanoma and tried to link their vitamin D levels to the severity of their lesions and their likelihood of surviving without a relapse.

Those with higher levels of vitamin D in their bodies had less severe lesions -- the lesions were thinner -- and a lower rate of relapse, the researchers found.

The results are reported in the Sept. 14 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"The research suggests that low levels of vitamin D allow the melanoma tumors to grow better and, therefore, to be more of a threat to the patient," Newton-Bishop said.

It's not clear how food, sun exposure and supplements contributed to the higher levels of vitamin D in some people, although they did take more multivitamins and cod liver oil, she said.

Melanoma is the cause of most skin cancer deaths, even though it accounts for less than 5 percent of skin cancer cases. The best way to prevent melanoma is by avoiding excessive sun exposure.

To boosts levels of vitamin D, people with melanoma should take daily supplements, the authors concluded, and consume foods that contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish and some fortified cereals.

The study is provocative and "somewhat contrary to traditional thinking," said Dr. Adit Ginde, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. More work needs to be done to prove that vitamin D levels directly affect skin cancer development and to determine if increasing the levels will help people with melanoma, he said.

Vitamin D appears to be more than a cancer fighter. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, infections and poor overall health. And adults with low levels may suffer from lower bone mineral density.

But researchers have noticed that vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise in recent decades. An earlier study led by Ginde found that more than 75 percent of Americans don't have high enough vitamin D levels, with African-Americans and Latinos at especially high risk.

Vitamin D is naturally present in few foods, and some researchers recommend supplements containing as many as 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D for many people, and even more for those who are obese.

The current recommendations, however, are 200 to 600 units a day, depending on age.

SOURCES: Julia A. Newton Bishop, M.D., professor, dermatology, University of Leeds, England; Adit Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, surgery, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine; Sept. 14, 2009, Journal of Clinical Oncology Published on: September 27, 2009