Genetic factors, such as a tendency to develop moles, combined with fair skin and hair, increase the risk for melanoma. Those with blond or red hair and light-colored eyes and fair skin are 6 times (1) more likely to develop melanoma than those with darker features, and people with numerous moles also have several times the melanoma risk as those with fewer moles.
Excessive sun exposure, especially during childhood, is also a risk factor associated with melanoma.
Skin cancer and sun exposure
Can excessive sun exposure cause skin cancer? Absolutely. However, an appropriate amount of sunshine actually prevents cancer. Exposure to sunshine provides many health benefits, such as promoting the formation of vitamin D.
The key is to never burn. We absolutely need sunshine to stay healthy. If we don't get a regular dose of sunshine, our health will suffer in many ways, one of which is depression.
We should not have excessive exposure to the sun as it is dangerous. However, one should be outdoors for 1 hour per day if possible. When we are outdoors, 1500 different wavelengths of light hit our retina and supply us with an essential component for being healthy.
No clear evidence that sunscreens prevent melanomaSunscreens can prevent the most common types of skin cancer - squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. But studies have failed to show clear evidence that sunscreens help prevent melanoma, the more rare but deadly type of skin cancer, according to researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.(2)
It thus appears that getting MODERATE sun exposure is of the utmost importance. There are some researchers who believe that the skin exposure to chlorine which we have today through bathing and swimming in chlorinated pools is the main reason we have an increased incidence of melanoma, although there is no conclusive evidence on this.
But there are other measures which one can take to help PREVENT skin cancer - and cancer in general, in fact. Need we emphasize the importance of green leafy vegetables in a healing diet - vegetable juicing is an excellent way to achieve this. But there is something more:
I've discussed many times the importance of the omega 6:3 oil ratio.
Studies (3) indicate that there is an important link between the omega 6:3 oil ratio and skin cancer:
“Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma.”(3)
Last year, the prestigious "National Academy of Sciences" published a comprehensive review (4) which shows that the omega 6:3 ratio is key to preventing the development of skin cancer. An Australian study (5) done 10 years ago showed a 40% reduction in melanoma for people who eat fish regularly. And this was without paying any attention to lowering the omega-6 fats.
I spend a lot of time researching the best prices for supplements on the internet, and in my opinion the best prices for high quality Omega 3 cod liver oil are here. The best prices for high quality Omega 3 fish oil are here.
In summary, we need to avoid getting sucked into the hype that "sunlight is dangerous". It is only dangerous if you take it in excess, and are clueless about fats which are good for you. If you choose to ignore your omega 6:3 ratio and avoid the sun completely, you could limit your risk of skin cancer, but you would be doing it at the expense of the many health benefits we get from sunshine.
can occur anywhere - on the arms, legs, the back, the neck, even on palms
of the hand or the soles of the feet.
It's important to perform those self examinations yourself every month. You can get a doctor's opinion as well, but it is your responsibility to do the examinations. It is YOUR health. The last time I had a dermatologist examine my skin for skin cancer, he did a summary "look over", and then he said "OK, everything looks good". I was still wearing my pants. I said "Are you not going to examine my legs too?" He looked at me and said "Well, are there any moles that concern you on your legs?" $150 later, I was walking out of the doctor's clinic in disbelief.
IF you have skin cancer, you have a few options. One is to see your doctor. You may also want to explore cancer salves, which have been used successfully by many to heal from skin cancer using herbs. Beforehand, however, make sure you THOROUGHLY research cancer salves and know how to use them. These salves are powerful and not to be used without thorough knowledge of them.
Do not expect your doctor to agree with much of the information found on this page, or much of this web site, in fact. You may not realize it, but there are only 3 legal treatments for cancer in most of the United States. The laws of California, for example, make it a serious case of "unprofessional conduct" for a doctor to diagnose cancer and then treat it with anything other than the approved methods - chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. He can lose his license to practice medicine. He could even go to jail.
So it is up to each one of us, to take measures in our own lives, to respect our bodies, to better our health.
© 2003 Healing Daily