Skin Cancer Prevention
Ralph A. Massey, MD — Santa Monica & Encino, CA
SKIN CANCER PREVENTION :
- SUN PROTECTION: Ultra-Violet Light (U.V.) is a recognized skin carcinogen. The majority of skin cancers are thought to be related to damage caused by U.V. exposure from the sun or tanning beds. There is now clear evidence that limiting U.V. exposure can decrease your risk of skin cancer. So, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) every 2-3 hours while outdoors and wear sun protective clothing. (With really good protection, you may need oral vitamin D supplements to make up for the lack of UV induced vitamin D production in your skin).
- NICOTINAMIDE (Vitamin B3): Oral nicotinamide (vitamin B3) 500mg twice a day effectively reduced the development of basal cell cancer and squamous cell skin cancers by over 20% in high-risk patients. This over the counter supplement appears safe and is readily available.
- TEA: Oral intake of black or green tea every day may slightly decrease your risk of skin cancer over many years.
- LOW FAT DIET: There is some evidence that long term adherence to a low-fat diet (less than 20% of calories from fat) may lower your risk of skin cancer.
- SKIN RESURFACING: Resurfacing sun-damaged skin with the CO2 laser or medium depth chemical peels have been shown to decrease the risk of further skin cancers in the treated areas. These treatments may also afford a cosmetic benefit by reducing wrinkling, improving scars and giving a more even complexion.
- DNA REPAIR ENZYMES: Ultraviolet light (U.V) causes skin cancers through damage to the cell’s DNA. The use of topical DNA repair enzymes have been shown to decrease the number of pre-cancerous lesions, (actinic keratosis) and so decrease the risk of skin cancer in sun-damaged skin. (Eryfotona Actinic is a sunscreen that contains these DNA Repairsomes).
- ANTIHISTAMES: There is some early evidence to suggest that daily use of an oral antihistamine, desloratadine (Clarinex) may slightly decrease the risk of melanoma. (This research has not yet been confirmed in larger studies).
- ASPRIN & MELANOMA: There is some evidence that in women (but not men) a daily aspirin may decrease the risk melanoma.
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