A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Skin Cancer
I had a question the other day about skin cancer.
Skin cancer affects more people in the U.S. than any other form of cancer.
It’s estimated there are 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the U.S.
Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, accounted for almost 69,000 cases of skin cancer in 2009 and most of the deaths due to skin cancer each year.
This is more than twice the number diagnosed 20 years ago.
The National Cancer Institute now warns 40-50% of all Americans who live to the age of 65 will eventually develop at least one skin cancer.
There are several different types of skin cancer.
The 2 most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Most people diagnosed with skin cancer have one or the other of these types of the disease.
Both are very curable if treated early.
The third major type of skin cancer is malignant melanoma, which is a more serious disease.
There are approximately 15,000 new cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed each year.
Half of these people survive 6-7 years.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of the 3 major types of skin cancer.
It’s most prevalent in blond, fair-skinned people.
It doesn’t spread until it’s been present for a long period of time.
The cell damage results in an ulcer-like growth spreading slowly as it destroys tissue.
A large, pearly-looking lump, most often on your face by your nose, neck, or ears, is usually the first sign.
About 6 weeks after it appears, the lump becomes ulcerated, with a raw, moist center and a hard border which may bleed.
Scabs continually form over the ulcer and then come off, but the ulcer never really heals.
Sometimes basal cell carcinomas show up on your back or chest as flat sores growing slowly.
Basal cell carcinomas don’t usually spread throughout your body and generally are curable.
But, recurrences are common.
If they’re not treated, they can do substantial damage to your lower layers of skin and bone.
In squamous cell carcinoma, the underlying skin cells are damaged, and this leads to the development of a tumor or lump under your skin, usually on your ears, hands, face, or lower lip.
The lump may resemble a wart or a small ulcerated spot that never heals.
This type of skin cancer happens usually in fair-skinned people over 50 years old.
The risk is higher for those who’ve had long-term outdoor employment and for those who live in sunny climates.
This is a very treatable type of skin cancer if it’s detected and dealt with in the early stages.
Malignant melanoma is rarer than either squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, but is much more serious.
With this type of skin cancer, a tumor arises from the pigment-producing cells of the deeper layers of your skin.
As many as half of all cases of melanoma originate in moles.
This cancer can also appear in the form of a new mole.
In men, melanomas tend to occur anywhere from the neck to the waist; in women, the arms and legs seem to be affected most.
If not treated at any early stage, melanoma can be life-threatening, spreading through your bloodstream and lymphatic vessels to your internal organs.
However, if it’s treated early, the chances of recovery are very good.
To deal with skin cancer, it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to keep hydrated and flush toxins, whether thirsty or not. Add Performance for electrolytes.
*Alfalfa, burdock, dandelion root, Irish moss, marshmallow root, oat straw, rose hips, and yellow dock are all beneficial for tissue repair. Rose hips are also a good source of vitamin C.
*Astragalus generates anticancer cells in your body and boosts your immune system (don’t use if you have a fever).
*Bilberry, cayenne, ginger, nettle, sarsaparilla, and turmeric stimulate your liver and help to stabilize blood composition, and may slow the proliferation of cancer cells.
*Burdock root and red clover help cleanse your blood and lymph nodes.
*Eat a diet low in fat and high in antioxidants, like beta-carotene-rich carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and spinach; cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and turnips; and citrus fruits.
*Be aware of the warning signs of skin cancer:
– An open sore that bleeds, crusts over, and doesn’t heal properly.
– A reddish, irritated spot, usually on your chest, shoulder, arm, or leg. It may itch or hurt, or cause no discomfort.
– A smooth growth with an elevated border and an indented center. As it gets bigger, tiny blood vessels develop on the surface.
– A shiny scar-like area that’s white, yellow, or waxy, with a shiny, taut appearance.
– An enlarging, irregular, “angry-looking” lesion on your face, lips, or ears.
*Examine your skin regularly, every 3 months.
*Stay away from tanning salons.
*Beware of new moles appearing after age 40.
*Check for discharge from moles.
*Include in your diet plenty of foods high in vitamin E. Good food sources of vitamin E include asparagus, green leafy vegetables, raw nuts, wheat germ, and organic, cold-pressed olive oil.
*Get plenty of vitamin A in your diet and apply creams containing vitamin A on your skin as supplements.
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