Women at risk of developing melanoma can benefit from calcium and vitamin D combo, suggest researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
They found that a daily dose of calcium and vitamin D supplements more than halved the risk of developing malignant melanoma, the most dangerous strain of the disease, among women with a history of non-lethal forms of skin cancer.
The study found that these women were 57 percent less likely to develop the disease than those with a similar medical history.
"If you previously had a non-melanoma skin cancer, calcium plus vitamin D might reduce your risk of the more deadly melanoma," the Daily Express quoted study leader Dr Jean Tang as saying.
Tang and her colleagues looked at 36,000 women, aged 50 to 79, for an average of seven years. The participants were given either a daily dose of calcium along with vitamin D or a 'dummy' pill.
Of those who took part, just 176 developed a melanoma.
However, only women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer benefited from the supplements. Those with no history saw no reduction in melanoma risk.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.