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Vitamin D in cutaneous carcinogenesis: Part I

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a known risk factor for skin cancer but is also the principal means by which the body obtains vitamin D. Several studies have suggested that vitamin D plays a protective role in a variety of internal malignancies. With regard to skin cancer, epidemiologic and laboratory studies suggest that vitamin D and its metabolites may have a similar protective effect. These noncalcemic actions of vitamin D have called into question whether the current recommended intake of vitamin D is too low for optimal health and cancer prevention. Part I will review the role of vitamin D in the epidermis; part II will review the role of vitamin D in keratinocyte-derived tumors to help frame the discussion on the possible role of vitamin D in the prevention of skin cancer.

Authors: Tang JY; Fu T; Lau C; Oh DH; Bikle DD; Asgari MM

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Nov;67(5):803.e1-12, quiz 815-6.

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