We recently asked Dr Aldridge for an update on Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a hormone that is produced by the action of UV light on the skin. It is essential for healthy bone development and has other purported health benefits. A deficiency of the hormone in children causes rickets and in adults can lead to osteoporosis.

NICE in 2015, as part of their Melanoma guidance, recommended that all patients with a diagnosis of Melanoma should have their Vitamin D levels checked. The rationale for this is that if levels of Vitamin D are low at the time of Melanoma diagnosis, it is likely that they will become even lower post diagnosis, as patients then begin to avoid the sun.

The vitamin D levels are usually checked by the team making the Melanoma diagnosis and then it may be that they inform theirĀ  GP to prescribe Vitamin D supplements, which are usually for life. There is no need to test for Vitamin D levels a second time.

If patients have not been tested they can ask their own melanoma team ( usually the Clinical Nurse Specialist ) or their GP to check their levels.

We are grateful to Dr Aldridge for his continued support of our work.