Skin Cancer: getting drunk and falling asleep in the sun?


Scientists set about to do a meta-analysis of 16 different studies, covering 6251 cases of skin cancer.

They found a 20% increase in the incidence of melanoma in patients who drank alcohol on more than an occasional basis.

Unfortunately, the studies do not eliminate the possible relationship of sun exposure time. So it is possible that those with increased melanoma related to alcohol either hung out outside too long, or… fell asleep out in the sun.

Here is a link to the study.

To your health, 

Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

Melanoma, Melatonin, and Vitamin D

happy young couple making heart shape with hands  at sunsetTurns out Melatonin and Vitamin D may be useful in preventing recurrent melanoma formation, and may even have a preventative effect.

This might be most helpful in patients with Parkinson’s disease, who have an increased risk of melanoma, and also in those with a history of excessive sun exposure, other skin cancers, a family history of melanoma, or use of Viagra, which now is suspicious for increasing the incidence of melanoma.

Sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine



See comment David L. Keller, MD,MS2014 Apr 09 09:09 a.m.

See:Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men: A Prospective Cohort Study.[JAMA Intern Med. 2014.]

Got Viagra? Check. Got melanoma? Maybe.

6a00e55255b462883401a3fd227564970b-300wiA prospective study published in the June 5th 2014 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), had some ominous correlations. It was carried out with matched controls from the years 2000 to 2010, on 25,848 men, who had no previous history of skin cancer.

The study showed an increase in melanoma in me who used sildenafil, the chemical in Viagra. There was not an increase in the incidence of the two other major skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, suggesting that this was not caused by other factors. Factors such as increased sun exposure, in those who took sildenafil. Those who used Sidenafil had roughly twice the liklihood of developing melanoma compared to those who did not. 

Mechanisms of activity of suggest that sildenafil by the nature of its activity as a phosphodiesterase activity inhibitor, may act like the gene activation (BRAF) that is known to be related to increased invasiveness of melanoma.

This study suggests possible association with the use of Viagra regarding risk of developing melanoma, but is too limited to absolutely prove this association. (Even after studying 25,000 men.) It is, however, a caution that use of Viagra, even once, may cause serious side effects that last more than 4 hours.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine



JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jun 1;174(6):964-70. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.594.

Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Li WQ1Qureshi AA2Robinson KC3Han J4.

Researchers stunned at the success of an “alternative” treatment.

6a00e55255b462883401a3fd227021970b-300wiConventional physicians have a default expectation about alternative medical therapies: that they’re bogus and don’t work.

This often runs contrary to my observations, and what I hear from patients and fellow physicians.

For years, I have heard about the benefits of chelation therapy in cardiovascular disease. This method of reducing heart attacks and other cardiac issues was categorically frowned upon as fraud by the more conventional physicians. 

So, it interesting to read that analysis of the results of a recent study on the effects of chelation, called the TACT study, showed that chelation has positive benefits in protecting heart disease patients from further damage, compared to those who got control treatment only. Click here to read the study.

This makes me think of all the people who cannot get alternative treatments because no-one has invested in proving their benefits. Like for chelation, many other alternative treatments are not considered scientific until the proper science is done. Perhaps it’s time to do more research.

Alan M Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine