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 their  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.