Skin cancer rates are on the rise, bringing a renewed interest in skin cancer studies, surgery, and prevention so new skin cancer protective factors and risks have been identified to help individuals be better empowered against the cancer fight. In the first large multinational study where multiple inherited and environmental factors were analyzed simultaneously for skin cancer, some new potential risk factors and potentially protective substances emerged among the results.
This article lists some protective factors as well as some risks below:
This fruit is cultivated around the world, and has been popular since antiquity, with mention in ancient texts such as the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns, and the Quran. Used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine and touted in recent years as “anti-cancer” for its high antioxidant levels, the pomegranate now has a bit of scientific data to support its health properties. In the recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, regular consumption of pomegranate was identified as having a potential protective effect against skin cancer. The study indicates pomegranate’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible for the fruit’s protective effect against skin cancer. Other foods mentioned by the study for their possible protective effects included celeriac and figs.
Honey, Green Tea, and Vitamin C
In an article published recently in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, the effectiveness of some other new protective factors against skin cancer were discussed based on the conclusions of various studies. The article pointed to a number of potentially protective factors in honey, tea that is green, and vitamin C for use against skin cancer. Honey, which was chosen for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, has been shown to be effective in wound healing in various clinical and in vitro studies. The tea has demonstrated a safety effect on any type of invasion, and reproduction in studies exploring the dermatological benefits of its topical use. Lastly, Vitamin C is able to down-regulate cytokines involved in melanocyte activation and proliferation in topical applications.
Inherited Risk Factors
While the use of foods such as pomegranate, or the topical application of natural substances such as honey, green tea, and Vitamin C were indicated to have a potential to protective effect against skin cancer, more studies are necessary to confirm these findings. For now, avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun and preventing sunburn is still the standard prevention for previously known inherited risk factors such as freckles on the face, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes.
The multinational study also found an apparent association between stressful life events, chronic stress and skin cancer. Chronic stress, which had already been shown to increase susceptibility to UV-induced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in mice, showed to be a prominent factor in other forms of skin cancer as well. In the study, more than 50 percent of a group of 75 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) reported at least one episode of major stress in the five years prior to their diagnosis. Some of the other new potential risk factors for skin cancer that were identified in the study include regular alcohol consumption and some medications including thiazines.
Skin cancer rates are on the rise, bringing a whole new interest in skin cancer studies, surgery, and prevention so new skin cancer protective factors and risks have been identified to order to help individuals be better empowered against the cancer fight.
By Mimi Mudd