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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 13 May
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 13 May 2008
Sunbathers on a beach

Full programme transcript >>

Sun and Skin

The warm and sunny start to this May has allowed many of us to enjoy time outdoors in the good weather.

But there is a downside to enjoying the sun. Spend too much time in it and you risk damaging your complexion and contracting skin cancer – the most dangerous form of which is malignant melanoma, the cancerous mole.

But it’s not all bad news for sun worshippers. There is growing evidence that sensible exposure to sunlight can be beneficial to health.

In this edition of Case Notes, Dr Mark Porter finds out about the negative and positive effects of sunshine on our health.

His guest in the studio is Dr Tony Bewley, a consultant dermatologist at Whipps Cross University Hospital and Barts and London NHS Trust.

Mark visits one of the burgeoning number of private screening clinics, which offer to check out any suspicious changes in moles for cancer.

We also hear from Catherine Marsh, who lost her husband to malignant melanoma after it spread within a matter of months.

Phillip Windyatt has been luckier, though it has been an uphill struggle. His melanoma was diagnosed eight years ago and he's been battling against a recurrences ever since.

Some exposure to sunlight is essential, however, as it’s the only way that many people can get enough vitamin D.

Lack of vitamin D is normally associated with weakened bones and rickets, but milder forms have recently been linked to a number of other serious problems including diabetes to bowel cancer.

Deficiency is a surprisingly widespread problem, that is set to get worse as more and more of us cover up and apply high factor sunscreens. Could the pendulum be swinging too far the other way?

Next week: Prostate Problems
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