What Causes Skin Cancer Symptoms?
Skin cancer is one of the top diagnosed cancers in the United States. Skin cancer is often misdiagnosed, as there are various types of skin cancer symptoms, so it can be difficult to know if you have it.
If you do happen to find a skin growth, then you may have a hard time knowing which skin cancer treatments are effective. It’s no wonder why people are so afraid to go outside without first bathing in sunscreen. The news and information out there can seem alarming. Here’s just a snippet of what’s out there to scare the clothes on people who want to sunbathe: (1)
- In the past 30 years, cases of skin cancer have out-ranked all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their life.
- Every hour, one person dies of melanoma (every 57 minutes).
- Almost 90 percent of melanomas can be linked to sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Regular daily use of sunscreen (SPF 15+) reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
Personally, I have some major concerns with the type of data that is being plastered by healthcare authorities and global agencies. Specifically, three things concern me:
1. First of all, the sun does NOT cause skin cancer. The sun is one of the most important elements to a healthy life.
Studies, like one published in the British Journal of Dermatology, have already disproven this theory as it has been discovered that most skin cancer did not develop from areas or freckles created by sun exposure. They also theorized that an increasing number of physicians misdiagnose benign lesions for stage 1 melanoma. (2)
3. Third, according to the Environmental Working Group, “Every major public health authority – the FDA, National Cancer Institute and International Agency for Research on Cancer – has concluded that the available data do not support the assertion that sunscreens alone reduce the rate of skin cancer.” (3)
In fact, many sunscreens are filled with toxic chemicals that have been linked to skin cancer. Even the best sunscreens pose certain risks. So if sunscreen does not protect against cancer, then what does?
The first question we all should be asking is – is the rise in skin cancer caused by the sun (which, historically has been the life-source for the entire planet)? Or, could it be because of the extreme overuse of poisonous sunblock creams and lotions?
And with the huge surge in numerous types of cancer, could it be that the changes in our nutrition, diet or environmental factors could be the real culprit?
Bottom line, there is definitely something causing this rise in skin cancer, but the sun has been here for all of history! Only in recent years, has skin cancer become such a danger. For example, just since the 1930s, skin cancer incidents have grown 1800 percent!
The good news is there are many treatment options available. However, in order to choose from the many skin cancer treatments, it is first important to know what toxins contribute to skin cancer, what skin cancer is, the five skin cancer symptoms and then I will talk about options you have to treat it!
Nutrition & Toxins Effect Skin Cancer Symptoms
Over the last one hundred years, we have seen many advances in our culture, lifestyle and agriculture. While this has made our lives easier in many ways; there has also been many downsides to these new “modern” practices.
One of these changes has been the mass production of foods and the birth of insecticides. Whether by adding chemical preservatives, genetically enhancing, using pesticides or unhealthy farming practices, our food isn’t what it used to be.
Most food has a fraction of the nutrition density that it used to have, and with each generation of produce, the soil is becoming more depleted and nutrient deficient. Why?
Well, we have stopped rotating our crops and chosen food varieties based on size, color and marketing appeal rather than nutrition. The big agricultural companies sustain their businesses by harvesting early before the produce has really received all the possible nutrients from the soil.
On top of soil depletion, we also are surrounded by far more toxins in our food (pesticides, preservatives and even BPA), and in our environment with chemicals in our air (pesticides, herbicides), skin care, hair products and toothpaste.
Last but not least, we are eating foods loaded with added sugar and processed foods that our bodies were never meant to digest. Your body can’t make most of the minerals and vitamins it needs, it has to get it from what you eat.
When the body is only receiving food that is low in nutritional value, high in Omega-6’s, and when it is forced to digest things that are not actually food, then it is forced to leach what it can from your bones and muscles.
Ultimately, your body becomes toxic and full of free radicals. It becomes inflamed and acidic, which is the prime environment for cancer.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is when the skin cells begin to abnormally grow beyond the normal boundaries of their design. Any abnormal growth of skin cells is considered skin cancer, but only two are considered malignant. Skin cancer can be categorized into 3 main types:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer and is relatively harmless. Arising out of the outermost layer of your skin, BCC will often have skin cancer symptoms such as open sores, red patches, shiny bumps or scars. It is known to be a benign tumor because it rarely metastasizes (spreads) past the original tumor site. Sources report that up to three million cases are diagnosed each year. (4)
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a malignant type of cancer that occurs when upper layers of the skin become mutated and abnormal cells start to grow uncontrollably. (5)
The skin cancer symptoms are open sores, scaly red patches and the characteristic elevated growth with a central hole; which is why SCC is also referred to as the “rat-bite” tumor. SCC can also bleed or crust and can lead to death if allowed to grow. It’s been reported that 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year resulting in 2,500 deaths. (6)
Melanoma is the third and most dangerous type of malignant skin cancer, because it is often fatal. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “These cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells…triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.” (7)
Being responsible for the death of almost 10,000 Americans each year, melanomas skin cancer symptoms are bumps or patches that resemble moles and are usually black or brown. However, several cases have been reported that they can be blue, pink, red, white or even skin-colored. If detected early, melanomas are generally curable.
The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer Symptoms
In addition to experiencing itching and changes in skin as described above, there are five keys of skin cancer symptoms (called the ABCDE’s) that can help you recognize skin cancer early. Doctors recommend performing regular head-to-toe checks while keeping an eye out for these five ABCDE’s of skin tumors: (8)
A (Asymmetry): If you draw a line through the middle of the mole or lesion on your skin, if the two halves are not symmetrical this is a sign that the tumor may be malignant.
B (Border): Non-malignant tumors will typically have a smooth, regular border. Whereas, the border of an early melanoma will generally be jagged or uneven.
C (Color): A tumor of only one color is a good sign because melanomas are known for being a variety of colors; particularly shades of black, brown, and tan. They may also be blue, red and other colors.
D (Diameter): As a rule of thumb, non-malignant skin cancers are smaller than ¼ inch in diameter. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter, so keep an eye on anything that is larger.
E (Evolving): If the tumor changes in color, elevation, size, or shape and if any new symptom arises (bleeding, crusting, itching, etc.) then it could be dangerous.
Not all cancers fit the ABCDE’s profiling. With any skin condition it is important to take note of any new skin spots or growths, and consult with your doctor for any moles, freckles or spots that seem different from the others.
Some other skin cancer symptoms to watch for are pigmented patches or growths that grow beyond their border, are red, swell or do not heal. Also, if you notice tenderness, itching, pain or sensitivity in a bump or mole or if it changes shape, becomes scaly or bleeds, then please also seek your doctor to examine and test it.
Standard Skin Cancer Treatments
The National Cancer Institute recommends 5 different types of standard skin cancer treatments: (9)
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy (a cancer treatment that uses a drug and a certain type of laser light to kill cancer cells)
- Biologic therapy (a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer)
The difficulty is that most of these therapies actually damage the patient’s immune system!
Natural Skin Cancer Treatments
The side effects of these mainstream therapies can be quite dangerous. In fact, many cancer patients actually die of the side effects of the treatment, not the actual cancer. (10) This is why I recommend the following natural skin cancer treatments to help fight various skin cancers:
Black Raspberry seed oil – Fruit seeds rich in antioxidants are widely known to contain anticancer properties.
Black raspberry seed is a little different because it not only helps overcome cancer because of its immune boosting properties, but it actually targets the tumor itself!† (11) This makes raspberry seed oil a particularly potent alternative for prevention and treatment.
Eggplant extract – As described in a study published in Cancer Letters, a cream with a 10 percent concentration of solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC) has been clinically proven as an effective treatment for keratosis, basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas.† (12)
Used since 1825, BEC (or extracts from the Solanaceae plant family) is thought to be an effective natural remedy for malignant and benign skin cancers and includes extracts from eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and tobacco.
Myrrh oil – Since recorded history myrrh has been used to treat a wide range of diseases. At one point in history, myrrh was so precious that its value was determined by its weight in gold!
There is limited research on the use of myrrh; however, I found two studies that showed myrrh caused the death of cancer cells! In one study they showed it effective against prostate cancer, and in the other they used it against five strains of cancer, and it proved especially effective in helping to fight breast and skin cancer cells. (13, 14)
Rich in sesquiterpenoid and curzerene, myrrh essential oil is generally safe for all skin types to apply neat (with no carrier). For sensitive skin, you may apply it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, directly on tumors.
Frankincense oil – Frankincense oil has taken the research world by storm. Like myrrh, frankincense, has been used for thousands of years and is one of the most rare natural healing agents on the planet. Several (major) clinical studies have been recently published proving its ability to help combat various cancers, including breast, bladder and skin tumors.† (15)
There are 17 active agents in most frankincense species and researchers have set out to determine which ones exactly target which type of tumors. This is wonderful news for many people who until now have been stuck with traditional cancer treatments as it could prove to greatly reduce skin cancer symptoms. Frankincense could hold the key for a long term cancer cure!
How to Apply Skin Cancer Treatments
A great way to get all the healing benefits of each of these treatments is to make your own skin ointment blend.
Just take 5 milliliters of frankincense oil, myrrh oil and black raspberry oil and combine with about 1 tablespoon organic eggplant extract cream. You may also blend in 2-3 drops of essential oils such as cedar or lavender to create your own soothing skin cancer treatments. Just apply your treatment on the affected area twice a day or as needed.
If you have sensitive skin, or allergies, then I recommend testing any skin treatment first. So before you apply to your skin, place a small drop of each oil on the inside of your arm and let sit overnight. If you show no redness, then you should be clear to use these oils topically.
Skin Cancer Healing Diet
Since the 1930s the variable that has changed the most is our diet, and diet is also one of the most overlooked components to healing any type of cancer. In addition to these four healing skin cancer treatments, it is so important that you choose foods that are healing for your body:
The first step to any healing protocol or diet is to remove all toxins from your environment. Use a filter for your water, use natural or organic cleaning products and switch to non-chemical beauty products (especially avoid sodium laurel sulfate, propylene glycol, etc.).
You can also go to Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep product website to find out what is in your current products, and look for ones that have natural, non-chemical ingredients. You can also make your own cleaning and beauty products (which is usually the safest way to ensure the least amount of contaminants).
Foods to Avoid
Since cancer thrives in an acidic and toxic environment, it is important to remove any foods that increase inflammation in the body. Remove processed foods, refined cooking oils, sugars (corn syrup & artificial sweeteners), fast food and avoid consuming foods with a high Omega-6 ratio.
Avoid foods such as corn-fed beef, corn and soy products, gluten, trans fats, fried foods, deli meats or foods that have any added preservatives or nitrates.
Often our bodies are so toxic, that it is helpful to do a basic cleanse or detox to help your body remove any existing irritants, parasites and balance your digestive tract. With any cleanse or diet change, it is important to listen to your body.
Cleansing can have side effects, such as flu-like symptoms. This is the result of stored toxins being released and is normal. However, should you experience any headaches, nausea or flu-like symptoms, always consult your doctor or reduce any cleansing agent you may be taking.
I find that juicing is a wonderful way to detox that is easy on your body and also helps replenish nutrients and minerals to your system.
Foods that Heal Skin Cancer
One of the best weapons against skin cancer is food! Just as important as what NOT to eat is what you DO eat. You will want to add in lots of healthy vegetables, grass-fed meat, eggs, wild-caught fish, nuts & seeds (although it is best to soak your seeds/nuts to ease digestion) and healthy fats!
Avocado, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or clarified butter are all great sources of healing fats for your body.
And when you shop, buy antioxidant-rich foods such as berries (blackberries, blueberries, goji berries, etc.), pecans, walnuts, artichoke hearts, cloves, acai berries, cocoa (in moderation) and garlic.
Giving your diet a complete overhaul can be quite a challenge. So, start by picking out foods on my shopping list that you like. Sometimes focusing on the foods that you really like, can make a healing diet even easier to stick to.
Vitamin D – Ironically, one of the proven vitamins to help fight cancer is also the one that you gain from being in the sun! Second to spending time in the sun, taking a supplemental source of Vitamin D3, will boost your immune system and help support cellular health!† (16)
Pancreatic (Proteolytic) Enzymes – Pancreatic enzymes taken between meals become proteolytic enzymes. A healthy pancreas is working between meals to produce protease (a protein digesting enzyme). This enzyme is released into your bloodstream to break down scar tissue and help fight disease.
In a cancer patient, the pancreas is not fully functioning and cannot keep up with the enzymes needed to help digest the protein based cell walls of cancer cells. It was James Beard who originally proposed this therapy in 1906, but it wasn’t until research was picked back up in 1981 that enzyme treatment was shown to be extremely effective in reducing the symptoms of cancer and helping to reverse it!† (17)
Probiotics – 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut! So, in order to boost your immune system, and empower it to fight cancer, it is crucial to nourish your gut. Taking a variety of soil-based and food-based probiotics is important to build up the culture in your intestines.
Selenium – Selenium has been found to reduce the risk of death from skin cancer by 50 percent and using it resulted in 37 percent fewer malignancies according to a study published in the 1996 Journal of American Medial Association.† Selenium supplements should be taken in moderation though. Your best bet is to consume it from whole food sources like brazil nuts, walnuts, free-range chicken or grass-fed beef.
Turmeric Curcumin – Turmeric has been in the spotlight lately as a natural cancer cure. Several studies on cancer cells proved that curcumin is effective at helping kill cancer cells and prevent further cancer growth.† (18) Studies have shown it effective against breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.†
Have you tried any natural treatments? Which treatments have helped your skin cancer symptoms?
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
If you feel like you could use some more in depth information on essential oils, Dr. Josh Axe is hosting a free webinar going over, in great detail, uses and tips for using essential oils. Click below to learn more.