May is skin cancer awareness month, with this Friday, May 24th being “Don’t Fry Day”, supported by the EPA, the FDA and the National Cancer Association. How can we take measures to avert over-exposure to damaging rays? A recent article on Fox suggests that researchers are looking for a vaccine to help prevent skin cancer, but is a vaccine really what we need? Another recent article states “holidaymakers are at risk…because their sunscreen is out of date”, claiming that people are lathering up with expired sunscreen that isn’t working.
Statistics say skin cancer is the most common form of cancer these days with 1 in 6 Americans diagnosed. What can we do to remain healthy and cancer-free?
Here are 10 healthy suggestions to prevent and even reverse possible skin cancer.
1- The Mediterranean Diet – Eating a diet high in vegetables (especially carrots, chard, pumpkin, cabbage and broccoli), nuts, fish, whole grains and olive oil offers increased protection of over 50% in the risk for skin cancer. The protective omega fatty acids in these foods, along with fiber and vitamin E and D give the body the nutrients needed to ward off cancer-causing cells.
2- Bee Propolis – With excellent results, more than 20 studies in experimental medicine and hospital settings used Bee Propolis internally and externally to successfully prevent malignant cell growth, increase the aspects of the immune system that wards off cancer, bringing balance back into the body of one previously ravaged with cancer. Bee Propolis in amounts of only 30-50 drops of a tincture 4x a day had these amazing results, reducing different types of cancer, including malignant melanoma. (Other types of cancer that received benefits were breast, colon and genital cancer along with lung and liver metastases). In Yugoslavia, the use of Propolis was found to reduce harmful side-effects of radiation therapy.
3- Coffee & Green Tea– Caffeine is an ultraviolet sponge. Coffee is said to act like a sunscreen when applied topically to the skin. (You figure out how that one works?) Coffee and Green Tea both contain polyphenols (in coffee they are caffeic acid and coumaric acid; in green tea – epigallocatechin gallate), antioxidants known to protect and even repair DNA from damage induced by excessive UV rays. Both coffee and green tea’s polyphenols inhibit enzymes responsible for tumor growth.
4- Frankincense essential oil – Used as a wound healer for centuries, frankincense is a vital element to consider in the face of any type of cancer, especially melanoma. A few drops of therapeutic grade frankincense essential oil applied topically to any skin cancer suspicious spots can remove them almost instantly. “The spot simply flakes off” quotes Nancy from Iowa who had removed previous skin cancer spots before medically. Frankincense has been injected into tumors in the laboratory much to the cancer cells dismay – shrinking, and in most cases eliminating the tumor completely. Several years back, Fox News reported a study done where horses with melanoma were treated with frankincense effectively.
5- Milk Thistle– Known as a common liver protecting herb, milk thistle, when mixed with sunscreen and applied topically, may help prevent skin cancer due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
6- Sunscreen blocks vitamin D absorption – try natural alternatives – While everyone remains adamant to cover themselves and their children with sunscreen before heading out into the sun, there is one very important thing to remember. Chemically based sunscreens actually BLOCK absorption of Vitamin D. Your body needs Vitamin D to ward off potential melanoma cells. All you need is 20 minutes per day of good sun exposure, so don’t overdo it, and if you are going to ‘lather up’ with sunscreen, try a non-toxic option such as Sesame oil, Coconut oil or Aloe Vera gel. Sesame oil is a natural skin protectant and can block up to 30% of the sun’s rays. Coconut and Aloe block approximately 20%. There are also several natural companies who offer safe, effective sunscreen alternatives such as Badger Healthy Body Care.
7- Resveratrol – Found in the skin of green and red grapes and grape seed extract, this natural antioxidant not only protects the skin from harmful rays, but according to Jon Barron in his book “Lessons from The Miracle Doctors: A Step-by-Step Guide to Optimum Health and Relief from Catastrophic Illness” it is stated: “In controlled studies, resveratrol has been shown to reduce skin cancer tumors by up to 98 percent, to stop production of leukemia cells…In addition, it works as a Cox inhibitor, thus halting the spread of cancer throughout the body.”
Resveratrol can be found at your local health food store or on-line and is a great addition to a year-round preventative routine.
8- Keep a Positive Attitude – Researchers show that experimentally induced negative mood states inhibit the body’s lymphocyte production. In other words, what they have found is long-term grief and depression makes one more susceptible to cancer. By proactively coping with stresses, or feeling like you have a choice about your life and future, actually enhances T-cell activity. What this means, is that in a positive, optimistic state of mind, your T-cells are more actively getting rid of cancer cells.
9- Yoga – Simple yogic practices help bring the body into harmony and balance, boost the immune system and reduce stress naturally. Regular breathing practices harmonize the body systems making it easier for your body to cope with offending agents. Yogic meditation practices can train the mind to eliminate toxic states of mind, environmental pollutants and negative emotions allowing your body to prevent any type of cancer or disease. In someone who is already experiencing skin cancer symptoms, using yoga as a supportive practice can bring peace of mind and inner fortitude. (see your local yoga instructor for personal recommendations)
10- Be Conscious – know when to say when – Often our best defense is to know when we have had enough sun and to get out of it. It is healthy to get some sun every day (around 20 minutes); those with darker colored skin are usually less sensitive to UV rays than those of us with fair skin. So be conscious and know when it’s time to find shade. Many of us get excited as the first warm days of summer arrive and forget to notice how long we are exposed to the suns powerful rays. So this summer, be more aware, check in with yourself and know when to step out.
Overall, we can see that there are a variety of treatments, to both prevent and support the healing of skin cancer. This time, when you take to the sun, take precautionary measures, remain alert and know that there are many tools at your disposal to keep your skin health and cancer-free.
Written by: Stasia Bliss
Propolis treatments; Alternative medicine; Fitness Magazine; Fox59 vaccine story; Medical News Today; Ehow Natural sunscreen; ; TransformationsNet; losaltosonline.com; Yoga and Cancer; umm.edu; NetworkNature; Skin cancer foods; E-news; Examiner on-line; Fox News report on Frankincense