Skin Cancer

What is Skin Cancer?

Cancerous growths of the skin occur, as cancers do in all tissues, when something damages the DNA (the genetic material in the nucleus, or "command and control" center) of a cell. Once the damage occurs, the cell goes haywire and ceases to function normally or to obey the body's normal controls. These "rogue" cells then begin to rapidly divide and invade the normal tissue around them. You depend upon a vigilant and ever-ready immune defense system to spot these cells gone bad, to attack them, and to destroy them. Most of the time, that happens without a hitch. Sometimes, however, one such cell slips through and forms a small cancer.
Skin Cancer In your skin, the damaging stimulus is usually ultraviolet irradiation from sun exposure, which sets the stage for development of one of the three basic types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. It is believed mat 20% of Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer. Eight hundred thousand cases are diagnosed yearly. An even more disturbing statistic is the one that shows a steady 4% rise in melanoma yearly since 1973.

Basal cell cancers usually arise in sun-exposed areas of skin, such as the face, nose, ears, chest, and arms, but occasionally in other areas. They are slow growing, pearly in appearance, often with tiny capillary blood vessels attached to them. They originate, as the name implies, from rogue cells deep at the base of the skin.

Squamous cell cancers arise from damage to cells closer to the surface. They are very common on the faces, lips, noses, ears, arms, and upper chest of fair-skinned people who spend too much time in the sun—farmers, lifeguards, construction workers, sun worshipers. These cancers also grow fairly slowly and can be removed by simple office surgery procedures when caught early.

Malignant melanoma, as its name implies, is the bad actor of skin cancers. These cancers develop when pigment-producing cells go haywire. They tend not to look like much at first, but can rapidly spread to sites in the body far distant from their origins. It is these kinds of skin cancer that make it so important that you notice any change in a mole. If it grows, changes color, changes shape, or becomes painful or itchy, you should immediately consult your personal physician, a dermatologist, or a surgeon adept at skin cancer removal, for an examination. If the mole is suspicious to the physician, he or she should refer you to an expert in melanoma removal (unless he or she so qualifies) to minimize the chance of spread of the bad cells to other areas by improper removal.

In addition to surgical treatments—and let us stress that especially in the case of melanoma we said in addition to and not instead of them—what can nutrition offer? Let's see in Skin Cancer diet.

Skin Cancer Herbal remedies

• See Breast Cancer.

What makes Skin Cancer worse?

•  Certainly, you must avoid sun exposure by wearing blocking preparations on your skin, including lips and ears, and wearing protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors. And when at all possible, stay in the shade.

• A diet high in polyunsaturated fats may increase your risk for malignant melanoma. No explanation has yet emerged for why these fats should increase risk, only that they may. Just because a fat or oil is not from an animal source or saturated doesn't make it good for you. Recommendation: Limit your intake of total fat and oil to 30% of your day's calories; 20% of these calories should be polyunsaturated fats and 10% saturated.

• Certain medications increase your risk for skin cancer because they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. These include antibiotics, antidepressants, diuretics, antihistamines, sedatives, estrogen, and acne medications such as retinoic acid. Recommendation: Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist if you suspect any medication you are taking may increase your risk for skin cancer.

• See also Immune System Health, which contains information about nutrients that may hamper the ability of your immune defense system to guard you well.

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Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer diet



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Scaly Skin and Scalp
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Skin Cancer
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