Basal Cell Carcinoma: The Most Common Skin Cancer
Basal cell carcinoma, which is also called basal cell skin cancer, is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of all cases.
Rates of basal cell carcinoma have been increasing. Experts believe this is due to more sun exposure, longer lives, and better skin cancer detection methods.
This type of cancer begins in the skins basal cells, which are found in the outermost layer, the epidermis. They usually develop on areas that are exposed to the sun, like the face, head, and neck.
Basal cell carcinomas may look like:
- A flesh-colored, round growth
- A pinkish patch of skin
- A bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and then comes back
They typically grow slowly and dont spread to other areas of the body. But, if these cancers arent treated, they can expand deeper and penetrate into nerves and bones.
Though its rare, basal cell carcinoma can be life-threatening. Experts believe that about 2,000 people in the United States die each year from basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Some risk factors that increase your chances of having a basal cell carcinoma include:
- Being exposed to the sun or indoor tanning
- Having a history of skin cancer
- Being over age 50
- Having chronic infections, skin inflammation, or a weakened immune system
- Being exposed to industrial compounds, radiation, coal tar, or arsenic
- Having an inherited disorder, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum
Treatment Of Skin Cancer
In choosing the best treatment option, your doctor will consider your age and general health, the type and size of cancer, where it is on your body and what you want. The treatment choice will also depend on whether the skin cancer has spread elsewhere in your body.
Types of further treatment include:
What Does The Research Say About Apple Cider Vinegar And Skin Cancer
Studies that examine a link between an acidic environment in the body and cancer have shown mixed results.
In one 1996 paper published in Clinical & Experimental Metastasis, scientists found that human melanoma cells may grow and spread more quickly in an acidic environment. But this study was performed on cultured cell samples in a lab.
Other experiments have shown no link between an acidic environment and cancer activity.
Some organizations, such as the American Institute for Cancer Research , say foods like apple cider vinegar have little effect on the bodys pH level. In fact, many experts believe it would be nearly impossible to alter the cell environment to create less acidity in the body.
According to the American Dietetic Association, Large, well-designed clinical trials on the effectiveness of the many claims made for the alkaline diet are lacking.
The inconsistent and insignificant amount of research on the topic has led most health experts to conclude theres not enough research to show apple cider vinegar can treat skin cancer.
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Skin Cancer Diet Facts & Awareness
Some changes in the lifestyle can help a person to fight dangerous diseases like melanoma cancer. Staying away from the risk factors, eating a healthy diet and following a healthy lifestyle can bring down the risk of getting not only this cancer but several other diseases.
The article here provides information about the skin cancer awareness, its effects and some facts.
Supplement Linked To Reduction In Skin Cancer Risk
Preliminary Australian study saw association between nicotinamide and lower rates
WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 — A cheap and easily available vitamin supplement appears to reduce a person’s risk of skin cancer, new research contends.
A form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide is linked to a reduction of non-melanoma skin cancers by 23 percent when taken twice daily, according to Australian researchers.
“It’s safe, it’s almost obscenely inexpensive, and it’s already widely commercially available,” said senior author Dr. Diona Damian, a professor of dermatology at the University of Sydney.
Nicotinamide costs less than $10 for a month’s supply and is available at pharmacies and health food stores, she said.
However, more study is needed before researchers can say whether everyone would benefit from the supplement. “It’s not something we’d recommend at this stage for the general population,” Damian said.
The study is slated for presentation May 30 at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Findings presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Funding for this study was provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with about 5 million cases treated every year at a cost of about $4.8 billion, Damian said.
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Upf: What It Is And Why It Matters
Ultraviolet Protection Factor indicates how much UV radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin. For example, a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98 percent of the suns rays and allows two percent to penetrate, thus reducing your exposure risk significantly.
What you need to know: A fabric must have a UPF of 30 to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundations Seal of Recommendation. A UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent.
The Best Sunscreen For A Skin Cancer Patient
I knew I needed to use sunscreen on my face, but I didnt use it unless I was going to the beach or doing something outdoors for a long period of time during the summer.
After switching to a new dermatologist, I mentioned the problem I had been having with sunscreen for my face, and she recommended my current product, which I love. If youre not happy with your sunscreen, my advice is to keep trying until you find one that works for you and your skin. I never thought Id find a sunscreen that wouldnt make my skin break out, but I did, and I hope you do too.
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What Types Of Skin Cancer Is Cryotherapy Used To Treat
Cryotherapy is one of the most common treatments for actinic keratosis.3 Actinic keratosis is a precancer, or a skin abnormality that may develop into skin cancer. Up to 10% of actinic keratoses become squamous cell carcinoma .4 For this reason, your doctor may recommend treating actinic keratoses. Cryotherapy cures between 75% and 99% of actinic keratoses.3
Cryotherapy is occasionally used to treat basal cell carcinoma or SCC that only affects the top layer of skin.5,6 Other terms used for these types of lesions are:
- Thin BCC
- SCC in situ, which is when the cancer cells are only in the top layer of skin
- Bowens disease
Surgery is preferred for thin skin cancers. However, if surgery is not possible, cryotherapy may be an alternative. About 15% of BCC return within 1 year of cryotherapy, and 20% return within 5 years.5 Up to 20% of SCC in situ treated with cryotherapy return within 1 year.7
Small Kaposi sarcoma lesions on the face can be treated with cryotherapy.8
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Be Dangerous
Using apple cider vinegar on your skin can lead to dangerous burns. In a 2015 paper, dermatologists treated a 14-year-old who applied apple cider vinegar to a mole and was left with skin damage on her face.
The authors wrote: Common vinegars are weak acids that contain 4 to 8 percent acetic acid, which can erode the skin and cause significant chemical burns, especially when applied under occlusion. Occlusion means the area is covered and the ACV is prevented from evaporating.
In another report, dermatologists at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, documented the treatment of an 8-year-old child whose mother applied apple cider vinegar to his skin lesion. The next day, the child had a chemical burn.
Another reason to hold off on applying ACV to a mole is that if you do manage to burn it off, your doctor cant tell if it was cancerous or precancerous. When doctors remove melanoma, they typically cut out the mole plus some tissue underneath to make sure all the cancerous cells are gone.
Ingesting apple cider vinegar isnt without risk, either. If you consume too much of the vinegar, or dont dilute it enough, you could experience the following:
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Where Should I Apply Sunscreen
Experts recommend applying sunscreen to your entire body before you dress for the day. That way your skin will be protected if your clothing shifts or you remove layers. At the very least, you should use sunscreen on every part of your body that is exposed to the sun, including those easy-to-miss spots: the tops of your ears, back of your neck, your scalp , tops of your feet and behind your knees.
What Causes Skin Cancer
Almost all skin cancers in Australia are caused by too much exposure to UV radiation. This is the part of sunlight that causes tanning, sunburn and skin damage over time. UV radiation also comes from non-natural sources such as sun beds .
While anyone can get skin cancer, it is more common if you are older. The risk is also higher if you have:
- previously had skin cancer or have family history of skin cancer
- fair or freckled skin, particularly if it burns easily or doesnt tan
- red or fair hair and light-coloured eyes
- a weakened immune system
- sunspots or irregular moles on your body
- worked, played sport or spent leisure time in the sun
- actively tan or use sun beds
If you have olive or dark skin, your skin produces more melanin, which protects against UV radiation. However, its still possible for you to develop skin cancer.
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There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood:
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
Are There Complications Of Skin Cancer Treatment
Most skin cancer treatments involve some localised damage to surrounding healthy skin such as swelling, reddening or blistering of the skin where the cancer is removed. Your doctor will explain any specific risks, which may include:
- pain or itching where the skin has been treated, or if lymph nodes have been removed
- scarring or changes to skin colour, after a skin cancer has been removed
- bleeding during or after surgery for more complicated skin cancers
- reactions sometimes your body may react to medicines used in treatment or surgery
- lymphoedema if your lymph nodes have been removed your neck, arm or leg may swell with fluid.
Its best to manage complications as early as possible, so ask your doctor for advice.
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How Is Cryotherapy Performed
Cryotherapy is a quick and simple procedure that your doctor can do in the office. Your doctor may draw an outline around the lesion. Liquid nitrogen is often sprayed, although a swab or cryoprobe also could be used.1
The sprayer is held about 1 centimeter above the lesion. As your doctor sprays the area, an iceball will form around the lesion and margin.1,2 Your doctor will continue to spray the area for up to 30 seconds after the iceball forms. This keeps the area frozen for long enough to destroy the tissue. Depending on the lesion, your doctor may allow the area to thaw for 2 to 3 minutes and then re-freeze the area.1 For actinic keratosis, re-freezing may not be necessary.1
The spray or probe reaches temperatures as low as -13ºF to -58ºF.1 This causes cells to freeze immediately. Inflammation develops in the area within 24 hours, causing further destruction.1
Eating Tomatoes Linked To A Lower Risk Of Cancer
Finally, in more of a overall summary study entitled Tomatoes, Tomato-based Products, Lycopene and Cancer: Review of the Epidemiologic Literature in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, studies regarding intake of tomatoes, tomato-based products of blood lycopene levels in relation to the risk of various cancers were reviewed.
To quote: Among 72 studies identified, 57 reported inverse associations between tomato intake or blood lycopene levels and the risk of cancer defined at the anatomic site 35 of the inverse associations were statistically significant. No study indicated that higher tomato consumption or blood lycopene level statistically significantly increase the risk of cancer at any of the investigated sites.
Some further entries from the study:
On tomatoes, lycopene and stomach cancer While other fruits and vegetables have frequently been inversely associated with stomach cancer, inverse associations with tomatoes have been amongst the most consistent and strongest.
On colorectal cancer and lycopene Case controlled studies in Italy and China reported about a 60% reduction in the risk of both colon and rectal cancers associated with higher tomato consumption.
On lycopene and prostate cancer High intake of tomatoes and tomato products, which accounted for 82% of lycopene, reduced risk of total prostate cancer by 35% and aggressive prostate cancer by 53%. Tomato sauce had the strongest inverse association with prostate cancer risk.
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Skin Cancer Prevention: Reducing Uv Damage
The main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet rays, which we are exposed to from sunlight or from tanning beds. Exposure to UV rays generates free radicals in the body. These are substances that can cause inflammation and damage to important cellular components including DNA, which can lead to the development of cancer. The best defense against free radicals and the damage they cause is antioxidants which are molecules that can stop the free radicals from creating a chain reaction of damage.
Who Is Most At Risk
People at risk for developing skin cancer may have the following conditions or characteristics:
- Fair skin
- Large dark-colored birthmark, known as congenital melanocytic nevus
- Pre-cancerous skin lesions, such as actinic keratosis
- HIV-positive. A specific risk for Kaposi sarcoma.
- Excessive sun exposure during childhood
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What Are The Claims About Skin Cancer And Apple Cider Vinegar
Various internet sites and blogs claim that apple cider vinegar can help treat skin cancers, including basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas, and precancerous lesions . Other sources offer tutorials for removing moles or skin tags.
Most of these sites provide personal, anecdotal accounts from people who say the vinegar cured their skin cancer.
Some of the sources encourage patients to drink apple cider vinegar, while others suggest applying it directly to the skin cancer. Many recommend doing both.
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Lung Cancer And Lycopene
Another study into the effects of carotenoid consumption on the incidence of lung cancer found a significant reduction in lung cancer risk was associated with higher lycopene intake in the diet
Two passages from the studies notes really stood out to me:
The first Diets that provide 400 to 600 grams of fruit and vegetables daily are associated with a reduced risk of lung and other aerodigestive epithelial cancers. Fruit and vegetables contain a variety of carotenoids that have been shown to have antioxidant and antitumor effects. Although smoking is the cause of > 90% of all lung cancers, an increased intake of fruit and vegetables has been associated with
a decreased risk of lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers.
And the second: A significant reduction in cancer risk was noted with an increased intake of lycopene, even in smokers. Interestingly, smoking alters the concentrations of most carotenoids, including alpha carotene and beta carotene but not lycopene. Therefore, lycopene may have a special role in lung cancer prevention.
It would seem smokers would do well to get into extra tomatoes and tomato products.
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Be Sure To Get Enough Selenium
Improving dietary intake of the trace element selenium through foods such as Brazil nuts, crimini mushrooms, cod, shrimp, and halibut may help protect the skin from the sun. The potential beneficial effects of selenium on the skin are based on the role this trace element plays in the antioxidant system of the body: selenium is an important component of several enzymes involved in the body’s antioxidant defense. To reap selenium’s skin cancer fighting powers, combine selenium-rich foods with foods that contain vitamin E .
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help Skin Cancer
Theres not enough evidence to prove this popular vinegar is an effective treatment for skin cancer.
Apple cider vinegar is often used as a home remedy, reputed to ease ailments ranging from yeast infections to high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. But can it help skin cancer?
While there are plenty of online claims that apple cider vinegar can remove moles or treat skin cancer, theres no solid research to back them up.
Whats more, most of the studies that have been done on apple cider vinegar and cancer used tissue samples or animals in laboratories, not living humans.
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Where To Find Antioxidants
A healthy diet for skin cancer prevention includes a variety of foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and many of the colorful fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants. Here are some examples of antioxidant-rich foods for skin cancer prevention you can add to your diet:
- Orange-colored vegetables and fruits, like carrots, squash, yams, cantaloupe, apricots, and mangoes contain beta-carotene
- Tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, and blood oranges contain lycopene
- Fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and albacore tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D
- Walnuts and flaxseed are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- Fortified milk and orange juice contain vitamin D
- Freshly brewed green or black tea contains polyphenols
- Brazil nuts , chicken, and grass-fed beef contain selenium
- Oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and leafy greens are great sources of vitamin C
- Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, soybeans, and wheat germ contain vitamin E
- Beef, lamb, shellfish, and legumes are good sources of zinc