Who doesn’t look better with a tan? Unfortunately, thoughts like that greatly increase the risk for skin cancer and increase the aging process.
There are a few types of skin cancer that people should be aware of and pay attention to when checking over their body.
First is a malignant melanoma, which is the skin cancer associated with dark colored moles turned bad.
Next, basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and typically presents as a pearly nodule or eczema-like rough reddish patch.
Finally, squamous cell carcinoma involves the most superficial layer of the skin cells.
If you are working hard to avoid skin cancer, consider these five tips all year long.
First, avoid the sun!
Seems like a no-brainer but it’s important that you understand that the sun’s rays (and therefore damage) can get you through your car window or the window in your office.
If you don’t wear significant sunscreen protection all over your body then you are at risk. Remember to protect your lips, eyelids, ears, scalp (especially those with thinning hair) hands and tops of feet as many forget to cover those areas with sunscreen.
Second, coffee might protect you from basal cell carcinoma.
Researchers in the July 2012 Cancer Research Journal reported that those who drank 3 cups or more of caffeinated coffee per day had a 17 percent lower risk than those who drank less.
Third, supplement with calcium and vitamin D.
In the June 2011 Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that women who took a combination of 1000mg of calcium with 400IU of vitamin D developed 57 percent few melanomas than those women who did not supplement.
One point to note, women without a history of non-melanoma skin cancer did not see any reduction of risk in this study.
The anti-cancer benefits of vitamin D are well documented for breast and colorectal cancer, but it might help protect you from skin cancer as well.
Fourth, stop smoking or using any form of tobacco products!
In the June 2012 Archives of Dermatology researchers found that smoking is significantly associated with squamous cell carcinoma.
Fifth, consider drinking green tea.
There is a lot of great research pointing towards the anti-cancer effects that green tea has on cancer in general. Green tea is a well-known antioxidant, meaning it eats up free radicals that causes damage to DNA. It also has the potential to shrink tumor cancer cells in animal models.
As green tea is generally regarded as safe, consider adding some green tea to your morning or afternoon ritual. Remember to steep it several minutes in order to release the antioxidants for maximum benefit.
Make a point of following other commonly know tips for reducing skin cancer risk such as slathering up sunscreen regularly, avoiding the sun during peak hours, and avoid tanning beds. Wear good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to protect your face.
1) Coffee May Reduce Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma. Web. 9 July, 2012.
2) Calcium Plus Vitamin D May Reduce Melanoma Risks in Some Women, Study Finds. Web. 9 July, 2012.
3) Smoking Linked to Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Skin. Web. 9 July, 2012.
4) Any Science Behind the Hype of Natural Dietary Supplements?: Can Drinking Green Tea Prevent Cancer? Web. 9 July, 2012.
Reviewed July 10, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith