It is an alarming fact that one in six Americans will develop skin cancer. This is the most common cancer in the world today, and it is increasing at an epidemic rate. The good news is that the most common forms of skin cancer are not life-threatening, and all forms are curable if treated early. Home remedies can not cure cancer but home remedies skin cancer can help in different stages of this disease.
Cancer is a group of diseases in which cells reproduce in an unrestrained fashion and not in the best interests of the body as a whole. The most common types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas, Squamous cell carcinomas, and malignant melanomas.
Their names reflect the fact that each starts in a different part of the epidermis. Basal cells are just under the outermost surface of the skin. Squamous cells are in the middle of the epidermis. Melanocytes are the pigment-producing cells located near the bottom of the epidermis, where it meets the dermis.
Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) make up almost 75 percent of all skin cancers, affecting nearly 1 million Americans each year. They are often raised, translucent, pearly nodules that may crust, ulcerate, and, sometimes, bleed. Other signs of a BCC are a persistent sore that does not heal; a reddish patch on the trunk, arm, or leg; a smooth growth with an elevated, rolled border and an indentation in the center; or a scarlike area with poorly defined borders. Fortunately, basal cell carcinomas rarely spread, or metastasize, to vital organs, but they can destroy surrounding tissue if left untreated, even destroying a nearby eye, ear, or nose if left for many years.
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are less common than basal cell carcinomas, but more serious because they involve deeper tissues and are somewhat more likely to spread. This is the second most common skin cancer, affecting more than 100,000 people each year. They are usually raised, pink, opaque nodules or patches, and they frequently ulcerate in the center. An SCC can also take the form of a wartlike growth or an open sore that persists for weeks. It is particularly important to treat SCCs, as in a small percentage of cases—usually those that arise on chronically inflamed skin, on the lips, or mucous membranes—it spreads to distant tissues and can be life-threatening.
Malignant melanoma (MM) is a very serious type of skin cancer that arises in moles or in the pigment-producing cells of the skin. If caught early, it is not very dangerous, but in later stages it is far more likely than other types of skin cancer to spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. People at increased risk for malignant melanoma include the following:
• Those with a personal or family history of MM. • Those with unusual, dysplastic (abnormal) moles that are larger than one-quarter inch in size, irregular in shape, and multicolored. • Those with fair skin, light hair, and light-colored eyes, and a tendency to sunburn easily. • Those with large brown moles that have been present from birth. • Those with a history of painful or blistering sunburns. • Those who have a history of lots of outdoor exposure, especially while living in sunny regions.
Malignant melanomas are usually brown-black or multicolored patches, plaques, or nodules with irregular outlines, larger than one-quarter inch. They may crust on the surface or bleed. Anyone who has moles (which is most people) should inspect them every three months, alert for the ABCD's of melanoma: asymmetry, irregular border, uneven color, and diameter larger than a pencil eraser. Warning signs that malignant melanoma may be developing include changes in size, color, shape, elevation, surface, surrounding skin sensation, and/or consistency of a new or existing pigmented area of the skin.
Another important type of cancer in the skin is mycosis fungoides. This is actually a relatively rare type of lymphoma that starts in the skin and later invades the lymphatic tissue, spleen, liver, blood, and other internal organs. The skin lesions may appear as red, scaling plaques, or as nodules, larger tumors, or ulcers, and may last for months to years.
Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays is responsible for more than 90 percent of all skin cancers. How warm and bright the weather is not a good indication of how damaging the sun is on any given day. Clouds and haze block as little as 20 percent of the harmful UV radiation. The closer to the equator you go, the more potent the sun's rays are because they hit the earth more directly for a greater part of the year. UV radiation also increases by 4 to 5 percent for every 1,000 feet you go above sea level. The sun's rays are damaging even if they do not strike you directly. Sand, concrete, and snow are highly reflective surfaces, bouncing back as much as 90 percent of the rays that hit them upward and sideways and increasing the amount of UV exposure we receive.
Other, less important causes of skin cancers include radiation treatments, arsenic exposure, chronic scarring, and immune suppression, whether by the use of certain drugs or the presence of cancer or other serious diseases.
Many skin cancers are preceded by the formation of sun spots, or actinic keratoses. An actinic keratosis (AK) is a scaly or crusty, rough bump that arises on the skin's surface and slowly grows in size from one-eighth to one- quarter inch. One often sees the development of several actinic keratoses at a time, usually on the sun-exposed areas of the face, ears, scalp, neck, backs of the hands, forearms, and lips. If untreated, a small number of these lesions take the next step and progress to become cancerous.
Many natural-medicine practitioners believe that cancer is the end result of a long period of degeneration resulting from poor circulation of blood, lymph, and chi in the involved area. This is thought to be a result of the stagnation of body, mind, and spirit. Unhealthy foods, exposure to chemicals, and lack of exercise and flexibility create poor circulation. Negative or stressful thoughts and fears create muscle tension and worsen poor circulation.
Unresolved grief or anger, or a feeling of disconnectedness from others, sabotages the immune system and the body's detoxifying and eliminative functions. Thus, alternative approaches to treating cancer from a total body-mind-spirit perspective involve measures to increase the blood, lymphatic, and chi flow to the whole body, and especially to the area of the tumor.
List of Home Remedies for Skin Cancer
Home remedies Skin Cancer #1:
Be sure to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, especially those foods rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium, such as broccoli, carrots, and citrus fruits. Dr. Harvey Arbesman, Professor of Dermatology at the New York State University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York, makes this recommendation based on more than fifty studies of basal cell and squamous cell cancer of the skin and nutrition. His recommendations are supported by research done by Dr. Ken Nelder, professor of dermatology at Texas Tech University. Independent studies have found that people with skin cancer have lower than normal tissue levels of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and selenium. Further, it has been found that increasing the intake of vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium helps to protect against the development of skin cancer.
Consuming products like MonaVie, which contain antioxidants, is a popular method of meeting some of your body's daily requirement of vitamins.
Home remedies Skin Cancer #2:
Include in your diet plenty of whole grains, sea vegetables, beans and soybeans, hot peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, rosemary, garlic, grapes, citrus fruits, licorice root, green tea, flaxseed and olive oils, white fish, and maitake, reishi, and shiitake mushrooms. These foods are thought to have antioxidant, anticancer, and immune-boosting properties.
Home remedies Skin Cancer #3:
A diet high in omega-3 essential fatty acids and low in omega-6 essential fatty acids is important in helping to prevent melanoma. Therefore, you should consume fish oil and olive oil, and avoid corn oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Even butter, with its higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 oils, is considered safer than eating corn oil insofar as the development of skin cancer is concerned. With a higher omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio, the production of certain prostaglandins increases dramatically, which in turn increases the genesis and growth of skin tumors. One recent study found that a group of people with melanoma ate about twice as much omega-6 type oils as a similar group of cancer-free individuals. In mice, safflower and sunflower oils have also been shown to spur the growth of melanoma. Thus, eating fish at least twice a week and cooking with olive oil is recommended.
Home remedies Skin Cancer #4:
Avoid red meat, processed foods, red and yellow dyes, monosodium glutamate, nitrites (found in cured meats), saccharin, sugar, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine-containing drinks, aspartame (NutraSweet), and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Home remedies Skin Cancer #5:
Drink at least eight glasses of filtered water daily to keep the body's waste materials flowing out.
The following nutrients are recommended for people with skin cancer, as well as for cancer prevention:
• A high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement. Take this daily. • Beta-carotene. Take 10,000 to 25,000 international units daily. • Vitamin-B complex. Take a product containing 100 milligrams of most of the major B vitamins daily. • Vitamin C. When vitamin C was added to the drinking water of mice with melanoma, their tumors grew more slowly and their survival time increased. Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times a day • Vitamin E. A University of Arizona study reported that the administration of high doses of supplemental vitamin E prevented ultravioletlight-induced skin cancers in animals. Take 400 international units of vitamin E daily. • Selenium. In laboratory studies on animals exposed to ultraviolet rays, those that were given selenium, either orally or topically had significantly less free-radical and pigmentary changes and a lower incidence of skin cancer. Take 100 micrograms of selenium daily • Zinc. Take 50 milligrams daily • Calcium and magnesium. Take 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 750 milligrams of magnesium a day. • Folic acid. Take 400 to 800 micrograms daily • Fish oil, flaxseed oil, or olive oil. Take 2 teaspoons daily.
If chemotherapy or radiation therapy becomes necessary to treat advanced malignant melanoma, a different regimen of nutritional supplementation is recommended. This is because chemotherapy and radiation therapy expose healthy cells to free-radical damage, depleting antioxidant enzymes, nutrients, and mechanisms. Nutritional support must provide additional antioxidants and nutrients to protect against these damaging effects. The following supplements are recommended:
• A high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement daily • Beta-carotene. Take 100,000 international units daily. • Vitamin B17. Take 1,000 micrograms daily. • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Take 3,000 to 8,000 milligrams daily, divided into three doses. • Vitamin E. Take 400 to 800 international units daily • Selenium. Take 800 micrograms daily • Folic acid. Take 400 milligrams daily. • Flaxseed oil. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons daily • Alpha-lipoic acid. This is a very potent lipid- and water-soluble antioxidant that can get to any place in the body, and that also activates other antioxidants. Take 150 milligrams three times a day • Coenzyme Q10. This supplement helps to augment the body's energy needs, is an antioxidant, and may have anticancer properties.Take 100 milligrams three times daily. • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC increases the liver's detoxification of wastes. Take 500 milligrams twice a day. • Pine bark or grapeseed extract. These are powerful antioxidants. Take 50 milligrams of either one three times a day.
Herbal Remedies for Skin Cancer
For a general detoxifying and eliminative combination, mix equal parts of powdered extracts of bloodroot, burdock root, chaparral, dandelion, echinacea, frangula, ginger, licorice, red clover, and violet leaves. Put the mixture into capsules and take two capsules four times a day.
Cat's-claw extract is an immune-enhancer and may have anticancer properties as well. Take 1,000 milligrams three times a day.
Caution: Do not take cat's claw if you are pregnant or nursing, if you take anticoagulants (blood-thinners), or if you are an organ-transplant recipient.
Milk-thistle extract helps to strengthen the liver and detoxify the system. Take 150 milligrams three times a day.
Red-clover extract helps to prevent the formation of new blood vessels that are needed to supply the growing tumor. Take 500 milligrams four times a day.
A soothing bath to which several drops of essential oils of chamomile or lavender has been added can help to relax and calm you if you are suffering from a severe form of skin cancer.
Do not use bergamot oil on your skin or in your bath if you will be out in the sun unprotected, as it increases the skin's sun sensitivity.