Vitamin D and Cancer: Are They Linked?
This week has seen a couple of reports exploring potential links between vitamin D – the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ – and cancer. First, we heard how women with high vitamin D levels have a greater chance of surviving breast cancer if they are diagnosed with it while their levels are high. Secondly, we read about how a vitamin D deficiency could be associated with higher risk levels for bladder cancer.
The main source of vitamin D is from sunlight. If you get enough sun during the summer months, you can store up vitamin D to get you through the colder, darker winter months, when it’s not as easy to get it. You can also supplement your diet with foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as liver, fatty fish and eggs.
Several studies have been done on the association of vitamin D and bladder cancer. Five of the seven discovered there is an increased risk of this form of cancer in people whose vitamin D levels are low. Furthermore, people with better levels of vitamin D are also more likely to survive the disease if they are diagnosed with it, as opposed to those with low levels. While further study is needed, it is believed vitamin D can make it more difficult for cancerous cells to reproduce, thus causing tumours to grow.
We are always looking for news on developments in cancer treatment and discovery, and we were interested to read about this unlikely association. Getting enough vitamin D is important for lots of reasons. Now we have even more cause to make sure we get enough from the sun (when it appears) and from our food.
Clearly, more research is needed to explore this possible association in more detail. We shall be watching to see if more news becomes apparent, and if this discovery has implications for people with other cancers, too. At Thrift Urban Housing, we support Gillian Advocates, an initiative that provides advocacy services for those suffering from a form of liver cancer. To find out more, visit the Gillian Advocates website today.