Can Changing My Diet Help Prevent Melanoma
The American Cancer Society advocates eating a plant-based diet over an animal-based diet as part of a healthy plan to avoid all cancers. Growing evidence suggests that plants pack a powerful punch in any fight against cancer because they’re nutritious, cholesterol-free and fiber-rich.
Theres no doubt that a healthy diet can protect your immune system. Having a strong immune system is important to help your body fight disease. Some research has shown that a Mediterranean diet is a healthy choice that may help prevent the development of cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about the role food plays in lowering your cancer risks.
Some skin and immune-system healthy foods to consider include:
- Daily tea drinking: The polyphenols in tea help strengthen your immune system. Green tea contains more polyphenols than black tea.
- High vegetable consumption: Eating carrots, cruciferous and leafy vegetables is linked to the prevention of cutaneous melanoma.
- Weekly fish intake: Study participants who ate fish weekly seemed to avoid developing the disease when compared to those who did not eat fish weekly.
Avoid Birth Control Pills Particularly After Age 35 Or If You Smoke
Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer not to mention unwanted pregnancy so theres also a lot in its favor. If youre very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.
Could Surgery Cause My Cancer To Spread
No. Many years ago, before good diagnostic testing was available, people with cancer would undergo surgery without knowing the full extent of the disease. Because the cancer was not diagnosed until it was in its very late stages, people would incorrectly assume the surgery had spurred the cancer’s growth. Cancer spreads naturally with time that’s why it’s so important to catch it and treat it early.
Also Check: What Does Squamous Skin Cancer Look Like
Natural Cures For Melanoma
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which is rare but very serious. Medical professionals say that melanoma can occur in skin that appears very normal to the eye, spreading very fast to affect large parts of the body. This is the reason why remedies should be applied fast for curing melanoma. Know about natural cures for melanoma. However, avoid using herbal treatments if you have sensitive skin. Also avoid venturing out in the sun too frequently if you have a family history of melanoma as UV radiation is the main cause for development of skin melanoma.
Tamoxifen And Raloxifene For Women At High Risk
Although not commonly thought of as a healthybehavior, taking the prescription drugs tamoxifenand raloxifene can significantly lower the risk ofbreast cancer in woman at high risk of the disease.Approved by the FDA for breast cancer prevention,these powerful drugs can have side effects, sothey arent right for everyone. If you think youreat high risk, talk to your doctor to see if tamoxifen or raloxifene may be right for you.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Hospital For Melanoma
Melanoma: What Women Need To Know About This Skin Cancer
Its easy to think that skin cancer isnt serious. After all, most skincancers are usually treatable when caught early. But its important tounderstand the statistics. About 87,000 people are diagnosed annually withmelanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, according to the AmericanCancer Society. While men are almost twice as likely to die from thiscancer, there are some important facts about melanoma that every womanshould know:
- Women 49 or younger have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer, except breast or thyroid cancer.
- Until the age of 49, more white women develop melanoma than white men.
Here’s how to identify melanoma and prevent skincancer.
How Is Melanoma Treated
Your melanoma treatment will depend on the stage of the melanoma and your general health.
Surgery is usually the main treatment for melanoma. The procedure involves cutting out the cancer and some of the normal skin surrounding it. The amount of healthy skin removed will depend on the size and location of the skin cancer. Typically, surgical excision of melanoma can be performed under local anesthesia in the dermatologist’s office. More advanced cases may require other types of treatment in addition to or instead of surgery.
Treatments for melanoma:
- Melanoma Surgery: In the early stages, surgery has a high probability of being able to cure your melanoma. Usually performed in an office, a dermatologist numbs the skin with a local anesthetic and removes the melanoma and margins .
- Lymphadenectomy: In cases where melanoma has spread, removal of the lymph nodes near the primary diagnosis site may be required. This can prevent the spread to other areas of your body.
- Metastasectomy: Metastasectomy is used to remove small melanoma bits from organs.
- Targeted cancer therapy: In this treatment option, drugs are used to attack specific cancer cells. This targeted approach goes after cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy includes treatments with high-energy rays to attack cancer cells and shrink tumors.
- Immunotherapy: immunotherapy stimulates your own immune system to help fight the cancer.
Recommended Reading: What Is Merkel Cell Skin Cancer
Ways To Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer. Just reading those words can make many women worry. And thats natural.
Nearly everyone knows someone touched by the disease.
But there is a lot of good news about breast cancer these days. Treatments keep getting better, and we know more than ever about ways to prevent the disease. These eight simple steps can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Not every one applies to every woman, but together they can have a big impact.
What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Skin Cancer
Protection from ultraviolet radiation is important all year, not just during the summer.
Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays. UV rays come from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can damage skin cells.
To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.
Also Check: Who Checks For Skin Cancer
Personal Or Family History Of Melanoma
If youve already been diagnosed with melanoma, you have a much higher risk of developing it again. Youre also at a higher-than-average risk for melanoma if your parents or siblings have had it.
Some people inherit a genetic mutation that makes them more likely to develop melanoma. One example is the CDKN2A mutation. If you have a strong history of melanoma in your family, your doctor may suggest that you and your family members get tested for these mutations. Finding out that you have a mutation may help you make decisions that can lower your risk for developing melanoma.
If You Are Age 55 Or Over:
Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.
Clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended. But you should be familiar with your breasts and tell a health care provider right away if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel.
You May Like: How Fast Can Melanoma Spread
Five Tips For Skin Cancer Prevention
Fortunately, all types of skin cancer are preventable. Here are five tips for skin cancer prevention:
Who Is At Risk Of Melanoma
Skin type and family history play a big part in the risk factor. The fair-skinned of us are the most prone to Melanoma. This is due to the fact that their skin burns more quickly than people with darker skin .
In saying that there is one type of melanoma that tends to occur on the soles of feet, palms of hands and under the nails in people with darker skin. No-one is immune it seems.
Recommended Reading: Can Basal Cell Carcinoma Cure Itself
Use Sunscreen With Spf 15 Or Higher
Use sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, also called broad spectrum sunscreen. Check the expiration date on the bottle to make sure its not out of date.
To get the most protection:
- Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days UV rays can still harm your skin when it’s cloudy outside
- Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside and put on more sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat
- Be sure to use enough sunscreen youll need about a handful to cover your body
- Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears, hands, feet, the back of your neck, and any part of your scalp that isnt covered by hair
- Use lip balm with sunscreen in it to protect your lips
- If you wear very lightweight or loosely woven clothing , put sunscreen on under your clothes
Being Exposed To Ultraviolet Radiation Is A Risk Factor For Skin Cancer
Some studies suggest that being exposed to ultraviolet radiation and the sensitivity of a persons skin to UV radiation are risk factors for skin cancer. UV radiation is the name for the invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Sunlamps and tanning beds also give off UV radiation.
- Risk factors for nonmelanoma skin cancer:
- Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight over long periods of time.
- Having a fair complexion, which includes the following:
- Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan, or tans poorly.
- Blue or green or other light-colored eyes.
- Red or blond hair.
Although having a fair complexion is a risk factor for nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancer, people of all skin colors can get skin cancer.
Read Also: Can Skin Cancer Look Like Psoriasis
Can I Get Skin Cancer On Parts Of My Body That Aren’t Exposed To The Sun
Yes. Although we often don’t think of the skin as an organ in the same way as we would the heart or the liver, it’s actually the body’s largest organ. That’s why it’s very important to check every inch of your skin, even in the genital region, underneath the breast line and between your toes. Remember, exposure to the sun is not the only cause of melanoma, just the most preventable one.
It Is Not Known If The Following Lower The Risk Of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer:
Sunscreen use and avoiding sun exposure
It is not known if nonmelanoma skin cancer risk is decreased by staying out of the sun, using sunscreens, or wearing protective clothing when outdoors. This is because not enough studies have been done to prove this.
Sunscreen may help decrease the amount of UV radiation to the skin. One study found that wearing sunscreen can help prevent actinic keratoses, scaly patches of skin that sometimes become squamous cell carcinoma.
It is also possible that when a person uses sunscreen to avoid sunburn they may spend too much time in the sun and be exposed to harmful UV radiation.
Although protecting the skin and eyes from the sun has not been proven to lower the chance of getting skin cancer, skin experts suggest the following:
- Use sunscreen that protects against UV radiation.
- Do not stay out in the sun for long periods of time, especially when the sun is at its strongest.
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, sun hats, and sunglasses, when outdoors.
Chemoprevention is the use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of cancer. The following chemopreventive agents have been studied to find whether they lower the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer:
Recommended Reading: What Is The Main Cause Of Skin Cancer
What Are The Signs Of Melanoma
Knowing how to spot melanoma is important because early melanomas are highly treatable. Melanoma can appear as moles, scaly patches, open sores or raised bumps.
Use the American Academy of Dermatology’s “ABCDE” memory device to learn the warning signs that a spot on your skin may be melanoma:
- Asymmetry: One half does not match the other half.
- Border: The edges are not smooth.
- Color: The color is mottled and uneven, with shades of brown, black, gray, red or white.
- Diameter: The spot is greater than the tip of a pencil eraser .
- Evolving: The spot is new or changing in size, shape or color.
Some melanomas don’t fit the ABCDE rule, so tell your doctor about any sores that won’t go away, unusual bumps or rashes or changes in your skin or in any existing moles.
Another tool to recognize melanoma is the ugly duckling sign. If one of your moles looks different from the others, its the ugly duckling and should be seen by a dermatologist.
What Causes Melanoma
Most often, gene changes that cause melanoma are acquired during a persons lifetime, not inherited. Skin cancers, like melanoma, have damaged or mutated DNA, which causes the cells to grow uncontrollably. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds can cause mutations in DNA and is a major cause of melanoma. Many other factors also play a role in increasing the risk for melanoma including family history, skin type or color, hair color, freckling and the number of moles on the body.
Don’t Miss: How Successful Is Immunotherapy For Melanoma
What Is Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. There are 3 main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are also called nonmelanoma skin cancer, and they are much more common than melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous of these cancers.
Skin cancer can almost always be cured when its found and treated early. Thats why its a good idea to check your skin regularly for new growths or changes in old growths. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you notice a change.
To learn more about skin cancer, check out:
How To Cure Melanoma
This herb is the most effective natural remedy for melanoma. The extracts of astragalus have antioxidant, anti tumor and anti inflammatory properties that enhance the immune system of the skin and help in the buildup of anticancer skin cells. The herb is so effective that doctors suggest its use even when the condition of a patient is critical and he/she is undergoing chemotherapy.
We already know that turmeric is a very good antiseptic agent and can be used to cure and prevent skin ailments. An extract of turmeric known as curcumin has shown anti melanoma properties in medical tests. This extract must be taken with food or mixed with other medicines for daily consumption.
Cordyceps is a variety of mushroom that has been clinically tested to show results against the growth of skin cells that are affected by melanoma.Clean and cook cordyceps mushrooms properly before consumption to avoid allergy or rashes. The element cordycepin in cordyceps prevents the spread of melanoma.
The EGCG extract in green tea is an effective herbal treatment for melanoma. If melanoma is detected in your skin, drink at least three glasses of green tea everyday. You can also apply green tea extracts on the affected skin.
Tea Tree Oil
The terpinen in tea tree oil is a form of melameuca alternifolia. According to medicine, the latter is a component which stops the in-vitro growth of skin cells affected by skin cancer.
Also Check: Does Skin Cancer It H
How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed
Your doctor or dermatologist will first conduct a physical examination by looking at your skin to identify any suspicious spots using a dermatoscope .
Its not always possible to tell from looking at it whether a spot or lump is cancerous or not. So your doctor or dermatologist may take a skin biopsy. This is where part of, or all of, your spot is removed and sent for further study under a microscope.
Some smartphone apps allow you to photograph your skin and compare photos over time. While they can be a good reminder to check your skin and record details, they shouldnt replace a visit to the doctor. See a doctor if youre concerned about any spots or moles on your skin.