Originally published January 23 2009
Prevent Melanoma Naturally
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) There are different types of skin cancers; however, the skin cancer to take steps to prevent is melanoma. Melanoma can be seemingly small (the size of a dime) and yet metastasize in the body and bring a death sentence quite quickly. The other types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell, are typically caught early and are rarely fatal. Because of melanoma`s increasing incidence (now the tenth most common kind of cancer in the US), it is important to learn how to prevent it naturally.
There are genetic predispositions that increase one`s risk for melanoma. Fair skin and hair and a tendency for mole development will create a higher melanoma risk. People with blonde or red hair, light eyes, and fair skin are six times more likely to develop melanoma than those people who have darker complexions. In addition, those who have a large number of moles have a higher risk for melanoma than those people who have a smaller number of moles.
Another risk factor is an increased exposure to sun (especially during childhood).
It is important to understand that while excessive exposure to sun can cause skin cancer; everyone needs some sun exposure because this can actually prevent some kinds of cancer. Appropriate sun exposure helps with the formation of vitamin D.
The key to using sun exposure for better health is to never allow a burn to occur. The optimum amount of time for sun exposure is approximately one hour per day. When outside in the sun, approximately 1,500 wavelengths of light hit the retina and provide an important ingredient for better health.
Sunscreens are effective for preventing the most common kinds of skin cancer (basal and squamous cell carcinomas). However, studies have not concluded that sunscreens are effective for preventing melanoma.
To take steps to prevent not only skin cancers, but cancers in general, it is important to consume a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables and to eliminate processed foods.
There are also studies that have concluded that there is a link between the omega 6:3 oil ratio and skin cancers. The data suggests that omega-6 fats are stimulators and omega-3 fats are inhibitors of the development and progression of a variety of cancers (including melanoma).
Based on the information from these studies, it is apparent that the omega 6:3 ratio is very important for preventing melanoma. Paying attention to the amount of omega-6 oils and omega-3 oils consumed and striving for a proper balance is a key factor.
If melanoma is suspected, the earlier it is detected the better. Everyone should perform a self skin examination every month to stay aware of any changes that may be occurring in moles. The most important thing to notice about moles that differentiates normal moles from melanoma is the color of the mole. Moles that appear darker than other moles or that increase in size are cause for concern.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body - not just places that are exposed to the sun. Arms, legs, back, neck, and even palms of hands and soles of feet are common places for melanoma.
To investigate suspicious moles, utilize the following ABCD rules:
- "A" for ASYMMETRY: Most melanoma in the early stages is asymmetrical. Common moles are symmetrical and round.
- "B" for BORDER: The borders of early-stage melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped edges. Common moles have smoother borders.
- "C" for COLOR: Common moles are usually a single shade of brown. Varied shades of color are often the first sign of melanoma. As time goes by reds, blues and whites may appear.
- "D" for DIAMETER: Melanoma usually grows larger than common moles - often to at least the size of a pencil eraser.
If skin cancer is diagnosed there are options other than conventional medical treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. One alternative treatment is cancer salves. These salves have been effective in healing skin cancers by using herbs. Be careful to adequately research any cancer salves thoroughly prior to use, however, because these are powerful herbs and one must possess a thorough knowledge in order to use them safely.
Prevention of skin cancer is the key and everyone must take steps to safeguard all aspects of health and wellness.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
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