In 10 seconds? Lymphoma patients with healthy levels of vitamin D seem to respond better to cancer treatments than those with below healthy levels. If results like these hold up in larger studies, it will mean that cancer patients will have another ‘modifiable risk factor’ to improve their cancer outcomes.

Easy with the jargon, what are modifiable risk factors? A wide range of things can influence how a person will respond to cancer treatments. Many aspects, like genetics or age, are beyond patients’ and doctors’ control (non-modifiable risk factors). However, certain risk factors, frequently environmental or dietary (like smoking or drinking alcohol), can be intentionally modified. Vitamin D levels can be raised through sun exposure, diet, and taking supplements. Thus, with more data that links vitamin D levels to cancer treatment, vitamin D is emerging as a modifiable risk factor in cancer.

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