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You are here: Home News Articles 10 Steps to Healthy Skin and Skin Cancer Prevention

10 Steps to Healthy Skin and Skin Cancer Prevention

1.   Say ‘Goodbye to Sun Worshipping’

For all types of skin cancer, over-exposure to ultraviolet light, from sunlight or sunbeds, is the main risk.  And that just doesn’t mean sunburns, even deep and dark tans can put your skin at risk for skin cancer. Research into malignant melanoma suggests that over-exposure in childhood puts people at risk of getting melanomas later in life.   There are other factors that increase the risk of skin cancer: very fair skin that burns easily, moles (over 50) on your body, having had skin cancer before, skin cancer in your family and being treated with anti-rejection drugs (ie after an organ transplant).  Exposure to radiation or long-term exposure to chemicals such as coal tar, soot, pitch, asphalt, creosote, paraffin wax or arsenic, can increase your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer.

2.   Add Color to your plate

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a plant-heavy diet rich in antioxidants can decrease your chances of all types of cancer—skin cancer included—by 20 percent. Foods that are especially rich in antioxidants (and natural carotenoids, plant pigments with powerful antioxidant effects) include brightly colored fruits and vegetables like grapes, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, and greens. Spices such as ginger and turmeric also provide antioxidants, as do whole grains.

Aim for five to nine servings per day of colorful fruits and vegetables. (Tip: Starting at breakfast makes meeting the quota easier; 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices count.) Take advantage of all the summer fruits and vegetables and eat a varied and nutritious diet. Studies show that diets high in saturated fat, including meat, butter, and full-fat dairy, as well as soft drinks, cakes, and pastries increased the likelihood of skin wrinkling. Follow a diet high in vitamins A, E, and C and essential fatty acids.

Dr. Forsythe says that pomegranates and walnuts contain more antioxidants than any other fruits or vegetables.  Clinical studies have shown that pomegranate extract can even boost the effects of sunscreen. Take one 15-milligram pomegranate tablet daily; a standardized extract is best, or eat fresh pomegranates whenever you can, too.

3. It’s Tea time

Not just fruits and vegetables but almost all foods that begin life as plants seem to offer some benefit. Tea, for example, is rich in flavonoids. Drinking 4 to 6 cups a day has been linked to lower risk of several forms of cancer. Studies show that people who help themselves to nuts may also gain protection. Green, black, and white teas all contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help protect skin against the adverse effects of sun damage.  Tea can be enjoyed as a beverage, taken as a supplement (often in a dose of about 300 mg per day), or smoothed on as an ingredient in skin creams (look for it among the top three ingredients on the label).

4.   Replace your oils with Olive oil

Olive oil appears to contain special cancer-fighting properties. A 2002 study by Italian researchers showed that women who consumed the most olive oil had the lowest risk of ovarian cancer. In another Italian study, published the same year, scientists discovered that hydroxytyrosol, a substance that abounds in olive oil, slows the proliferation of leukemia and colon cancer cells. It also causes damaged cells to self-destruct, which could prevent tumors from growing.

5.   Add Fish to your diet

Fish is another good hedge against cancer, but avoid the ones most likely to contain mercury, like swordfish, ahi tuna steaks, and sea bass. Earlier this year, Harvard University scientists found that eating fish more than three times a week was associated with a significant reduction in prostate cancer risk. Although no one knows why, the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in most fish are important in maintaining healthy cell walls. “By keeping cells healthy,” says Susan Lord, who directs the nutrition program at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., “omega-3s may make them more resistant to cancer-causing substances.”

 

6.  Avoid Fatty Meats and Dairy

Clinical trials have shown that a diet low in animal fat can reduce your chances of developing the most common forms of skin cancer. One possible mechanism: animal fat may suppress the immune system’s anti-cancer capabilities. There are several helpful ways that you canavoid fatty meats and dairy.Choose lean cuts of meat and low, or nonfat dairy products. Cut the skin off poultry before you eat it. As often as possible, focus your dinners around beans and vegetables instead of meat.

7.  It’s all about the plants, ‘Phytonutrients’

Pycnogenol helps reduce the risk of skin cancer.  Pycnogenol, a standardized extract of the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is a risk reducer, according to recent studies. “Pycnogenol binds to collagen and elastin and protects them from degradation caused by free radicals,” says Frank Schonlau, Director of Scientific Communications for Horphag Research, the Geneva, Switzerland-based developer of the supplement. Dr. Forsythe recommends 50 to 60 mg per day for women, 70 to 100mg for men.

Ginkgo bilobacontains a cocktail of ingredients, including genistein, which some research suggests may reduce UV-induced oxidative stress and inhibit DNA damage.  Dr. Forsythe recommends 60 mg of standardized leaf extract daily.

When it comes to dosage, each individual has different needs. Please call the Century Wellness Clinic during regular business hours 775-827-0707 or e-mail us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it regarding your specific needs.

The best forms of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements are found in these brands: Nature’s Sunshine; Metagenics; and Phytopharma Company.

 

8.  Vitamins C, D, and E  

Studies show that antioxidant vitamins C and E—applied to the skin or taken internally—may protect against skin cancer by neutralizing free radicals and protecting and enhancing the skin’s immune system. “Many skin care products contain antioxidants, and ideally vitamin C should be in the top six ingredients,” says Shari Lieberman, a nutrition scientist and author of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book. Dr. Forsythe recommends using vitamin C-rich skin care products; try a dose of 500 mg of C and 400 international units of E.

Vitamin D helps protect the body against not only skin cancer, but also other forms of cancer, as well as osteoporosis, depression, and multiple sclerosis.The dosage depends on several factors; including your skin type, climate, and diet. Fair skinned people who sunburn easily probably will want to continue to use sunscreen regularly and add a vitamin D supplement to their diet. People who do not tend to sunburn can increase their outdoor exposure to the sun for limited periods of time without sunscreen. In the winter, supplementation may also be desired, since the sun’s rays are not as strong, especially in the northern areas of the world. For healthy adults, Dr. Forsythe recommends 400 IU of Vitamin D per day.

When it comes to dosage, each individual has different needs. Please call the Century Wellness Clinic during regular business hours 775-827-0707 or e-mail us questions regarding your specific needs.

The best forms of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements are found in these brands: Nature’s Sunshine; Metagenics; and Phytopharma Company.

9.  Water your Skin cells

Don't forget to wash down your nutritious foods with a big glass of water. In fact, aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day for optimum skin results.

10.  Exercise helps detox the skin

Dr. Forsythe emphasizes exercise as an integral part of any health regimen.  He says, “Exercise flushes impurities out of your skin and promotes production of sebum, or oil, your skin's natural moisturizer and enhances blood flow to the skin.” 

Effective skin cancer treatments

Surgical treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually completely effective.  For melanomas, if the tumor can be removed surgically before it has spread, the treatment is usually very effective.  By removing more tissue around the tumor (the margin), the surgeon is more likely to remove the beginning of any spread and increase the chance of a cure.  Once a melanoma has spread around the body, treatment is usually aimed at prolonging life as the chance of a cure is very small.

However, our skin cancer patients at Century Wellness Clinic have benefited from our natural/Homeopathic protocols with Poly-MVA.  I've included a link to our August newsletter on Poly-MVA, a natural food supplement that has shown some efficacy in advanced cancers.

I've included a link to my radio show where I discuss skin cancer and Poly-MVA in depth.

Early diagnosis is absolutely crucial for malignant melanoma (see above) as treatments for advanced melanoma are rarely effective.  However, for other types of skin cancer, early diagnosis is sensible, but not a matter of life or death. Cancer can be curable at the early stages of the disease.  It's in the advanced stages that it becomes fatal. 

The information contained in this Health Report is intended for education purposes only. It is intended to complement—not replace—the advice provided by healthcare providers.

Lisa Marie Wark is currently a free lance writer and is a business development consultant with a concentration in medical spas and alternative clinics. Currently she is President of MedSpas, a business development firm that provides physicians the necessary business tools to help them build or expand their practices into medical spa facilities. Wark was formerly an anchor and financial reporter for ON24 Financial News in San Francisco. In 2001, she was promoted to the main female anchor of three financial news broadcasts, covering a broad range of financial sectors and industries.

 

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