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Skin Cancerby Dave Foreman
The skin is the largest organ of the body. It covers the internal organs and protects them from injury. It also acts as a barrier by keeping bacteria out of the body and by preventing the loss of too much water and other bodily fluids. The skin regulates body temperature and helps rid the body of water and salts. Certain cells in the skin communicate with the brain and allow for temperature, touch, and pain sensations. The most common problems we have with our skin all revolve around the exposure of our skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun over time. The days when a tan was a sign of good health are gone. In the last 10 years, we have learned that the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun are much more dangerous than originally thought. There are many causes for the damage done to the skin that contribute to aging. The most common is from the free radical damage caused by repeated exposure to UV sunlight. Other contributing factors are environmental toxins, smog and pesticides, cigarette smoke and medications.
In the United States, more than 1,000,000 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Most of these are considered to be directly related to sun exposure. With regards to Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, over 62,000 cases were diagnosed in 2006. Nearly 8,000 people died last year from Melanoma Skin Cancer. What is more alarming is that these numbers seem to be rising not falling. This amazes me considering the increased knowledge we have about prevention and causes.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
WHAT CAN INCREASE YOUR RISK OTHER THAN SUN EXPOSURE?
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS/SYMPTOMS?
What can you do to prevent it? Other than the obvious things like avoiding exposure to the sun and/or reduction of any of the other risk factors, there are definitely some nutritional supplements I would consider using on a daily basis. I always preach that to get healthy skin on the outside, you must start from the inside. Antioxidants might be the most important supplement to help prevent or assist in treating skin cancer. Since a great majority of the cause of skin cancer is from free radical damage it makes sense to consume foods and supplements that have high antioxidant potential. The individual ingredients like CoQ10, Pycnogenol, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lutein, Lycopene, Turmeric, and Green tea are just a few of the more popular antioxidants that can help. My favorite combination product is New Chapter's Super Critical Antioxidant. This is an all herbal combination that packs a ton of punch. There are many other combination antioxidants available on the market. I recommend seeking one with a combination or synergistic blend of antioxidants.
Whenever discussing skin health you have to include fish oil as part of your supplement regimen. I prefer Coromega® but other brands like Nordic Naturals and Carlson Labs would be great substitutes. If you are vegan, then Udo's Choice would be a great second. Fish oil is critical for skin health and skin repair. It won't necessarily rid the body of the disease, but it will help with the formation of new healthy skin cells.
When talking about cancer we need to look at the immune system. Supplements like Maitake D Fraction®, Host Defense® and Beta Glucan (WGP 3-6®) are always at the top of my list. These each possess the ability to support a healthy immune system and can be very effective as part of your skin cancer supplement program.
Yes, you can buy some of these products in topical form. Topical products may be best for the prevention part of your health care program, especially with regards to using antioxidants. Often you can find creams and lotions that contain Vitamin C, Green tea and CoQ10. Applying these products daily can help reduce the free radical damage caused by the sun and other environmental toxins. If I can stress anything to you about addressing skin cancer, prevention is the way to go. Once you have the condition it is much harder to go back to where you once were. Use sun screen and take care of you skin from the inside out. You know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.