Skin Cancer – symptoms, causes and treatment
Identification is especially important in dealing with skin cancer. Here are official warning signs of skin cancer:
1. An open sore that bleeds, crusts over, and will not heal properly.
2. A reddish, irritated, spot that is usually on the chest, shoulder, arm, or leg. It may itch, hurt, or cause no discomfort at all.
3. A smooth growth with an elevated border and a center indentation. As it becomes bigger, tiny blood vessels develop on the surface.
4. A shiny scar-like area that may be white, yellow, or waxy with a shiny, taut, appearance.
5. An enlarging, irregular, “angry” appearing lesion on the face, lips, or ears. Here is a description of one of the more common types of skin cancer: large flat, tan, or brown spots, with darker black or brown areas dotted on its surface. The edges may, or may not, be clearly defined.
The spot may appear mottled.
Moles should also be watched—especially those that change in size or color, are irregularly shaped, have ridges around the edges, widen, bleed, itch, or seem to be continually irritated by clothing. Here are still more identifiers of skin cancer—the so-called “A-B-C-D checklist”:
Asymmetry: Both sides of the mole should be shaped similarly. If the overall shape is irregular, then it might be skin cancer.
Border: The edges of moles should be smooth, not blurred or ragged.
Color: It should be tan, brown, and dark brown if it is normal. If it is red, white, blue, or black, it is not.
Diameter: Any mole that is larger than ¼ inch in diameter, or whose diameter seems to be increasing, should be treated with suspicion.
Spots which are dry, red, and scaly (most frequently found on the face, neck, or backs of hands) may be actinic (solar) keratoses. These are lesions which result from years of overexposure to the sun. They can be precancerous. Later they may become hard to the touch and grayish or brown in color.
Skin cancer is also called melanoma, or lentigo-maligna melanoma, and appears on body surfaces which are most frequently exposed to the sunlight: the face, neck, arms, and trunk. It can also occur on the lips and even eyelids.
The best thing about skin cancer is that it is often slow in spreading and invading the deeper layers of the skin. As long as the cancer is only on the surface, it can easily be removed.
There are three types of skin cancer; the first two are the most common, and the third is the most dangerous. Yet all three types can be eliminated if treated early. The medical route or natural methods can be used to eliminate each of these. But, either way, be sure it is gone. As long as it is treated early, you can easily see if it is gone.
Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type, and the slowest growing. It does not spread until it has been present for a number of years. It is an ulcer-like growth which spreads very slowly. The first sign is a large pearly lump, generally on the face, nose, or area around the eyes. About six weeks later it becomes an ulcer with a moist center and a hard border which may bleed. Scabs continually form, then drop off, but with no healing of the ulcer. Another form is flat sores which slowly widen. Treatment is the same as for squamous cell cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma: Due to damage to lower-skin surface, a lump forms on the skin. Looking like a wart or a nonhealing ulcer, physicians cut it off, freeze it off, chemical it off, or irradiate it off. A skin graft may be applied afterward.
Melanoma: This is the most dangerous of the three, and can run in families. It often begins as what appears to be a mole. Most people have moles, but be especially beware of those which appear after the age of 40. Any mole that is unusual or that changes in size or color should be eliminated. If in doubt, see a physician!
A melanoma mole arises out of the deeper pigment layer of the skin. For this reason, it spreads more quickly. Melanomas most frequently occur on the upper back and legs. But they may also occur on mucous membranes or under the nails.
A fourth type of skin cancer might be noted here. It is the rare mycosis fungoides. For years there will be itching skin lesions. Eventually they become firm and begin ulcerating. Later they involve the lymph nodes and produce cancer of the lymph (lymphoma).
Over 600,000 Americans develop skin cancer each year, and 10,000 die of it. More than 90% of skin cancers can easily be eliminated, if done so early.
• Exposure to the sun is vital to good health. Unfortunately, the ultraviolet rays also cause wrinkles and 90% of all types of skin cancer. (It can cause cataracts too.) Yes, continue to get out in the sunlight, but try not to overdo it. Keep in mind that, in the early stages, it is not difficult to remove skin cancers; but you have to have a certain amount of sunlight for general physical health. Be especially careful between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when sunlight is strongest.
• Those with a family history of skin cancer should obtain their sunlight more sparingly.
• In the summer, wear light-colored clothing which has a tight weave. Consider using a sunscreen of at least 15.
• Tanning salons are more dangerous than sunlight, because people tend to overdo them.
• As the ozone layer is gradually destroyed over the north and south poles, those living in the temperate zones throughout the world become more susceptible to skin cancer—without even being in the sun.
• Every month or so check over your body carefully and look for signs of skin cancer. Then do something about it.
Suggestions for eliminating the skin cancer:
• You can go to your physician, and he will excise it with a knife or an ointment which will burn it off. If you delay, surgery will cut more deeply and, as with all cancer surgery, there is the very real danger that not all the cancer will be removed.
• Or you can use natural remedies. Fortunately, with skin cancer, as long as it is treated in the early stages, you can tell if it is gone!
• Garlic is a faithful standby. Cut a thin slice of garlic and carefully tape it over, what you consider might be, a skin cancer. Try to avoid contact of the garlic on good skin. (If you can’t avoid it, the skin will redden and burn somewhat.) Russian research, from back in the 1950s, revealed that garlic is more powerful than antibiotics in destroying bacteria. It also causes moles and skin cancers to fall off.
• Put the garlic on in the morning; take it off and carefully wash the area in the evening before bedtime. Put on a new application. Remove it in the morning, and repeat the process. Do this for about 3 days. The mole or ulcer will dissolve and slough off. Let the area heal. If part of it remains, repeat the process at a later time.
• If you keep applying the garlic for more than 4 days, it will begin burning deeper into the skin (you will know, because the area will become very painful.) Such deep burning is not necessary to slough off the cancer, and could be harmful.
• The herb, chaparral, works well for skin cancer. Take it as a tea or in tablet form.
• According to a 1988 medical article (British Journal of Surgery), eating an adequate amount of essential fatty acids helps protect the body against skin cancers. It even helps eliminate them, once they form.
• Eat a nourishing diet; go off meat and processed, fried, and junk food. Get enough rest. Right living helps your body resist and throw off cancerous lesions.
• Take vitamin C to bowel tolerance; also take vitamin A and selenium.
• Carcelim is a cream which you can purchase, which requires 30 days to remove the melanoma.