They say change is as good as a holiday – but not on your skin. With the promise of warmer days less than three months away, many of us are turning our thoughts to beaches and barbeques and bikinis. So, now’s the time to brush up on skin cancer know-how, awareness – and skin checks – before you start peeling back the layers. Melanoma – Early Detection is Key . . .
Melanoma is our deadliest cancer Down Under – our incidence rate is the highest in the world with over 4,000 cases each year, and resulting in over 80% of all skin cancer deaths. Not only does this dangerous cancer grow rapidly, it also has the highest resistance to conventional chemotherapy.
And with summer on the horizon, no matter what your family history of skin cancer or skin types, it pays to be vigilant and undergo a skin check. Prevention and greater awareness are the best steps towards combating this often-fatal cancer, so, it’s important to monitor and watch for symptoms such as:
· Changes in colour, shape, or size,
· any pain or bleeding on and around a mole,
· lightening of a mole – or a white halo around its edge.
Vitamin A versus Squamous Cell Carcinoma . . .
One study has found a link between Vitamin A intake and reduced skin cancer risk – namely squamous cell carcinoma, our second most common form of skin cancer. It can appear as a raised, crusty, non-healing sore, and is often found on hands, forearms, ears, face or neck of people. It's most common in those aged over 40 and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Typically, the roll of vitamin A in the body’s health involves support of growth and development, including reproductive, skin and eye health. And now, scientists believe it may also reduce the risk of developing skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma.
Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School, the Brown School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Inje University conducted a mass study, and their findings to-date support the notion that having adequate intake of vitamin A could help prevent the development of skin cancer. What's more, most of the vitamin A in the studies cases came from food sources,especially vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, pumpkin, broccoli, apricots, and papaya, to name but a few. So, swing into summer with your veges in tow!