A type of cancer that has been frequently exploited in order scare people off the idea of tanning, melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is an oncological condition that can develop in the pigment-containing cells called melanocytes. With an uncommon, but certainly possible occurrence in intestines, mouth or even eyes, melanoma is a rather well-observable cancer with easily recognisable visual features. Even more, if the disease gets a prompt treatment in its early, localized stages, it also has a very high five-year survival rate of 98%. This, however, should not encourage one to perceive melanoma as somewhat less of a threat. With plenty of melanoma cancer cases in our professional history, Experts from EuroMed Foundation are here to share some key points and guidelines for melanoma cancer treatment and prevention.
What are the Symptoms of Melanoma?
As it was already mentioned, melanoma usually has a very distinct appearance that often plays a key role in early diagnosis. With a tendency to form around moles, the primary indicators of melanoma are associated with a mole-like formation that seems to change its size, has irregular edges and color patterns, as well as itching sensation and skin breakdown around the region. Although any abnormal skin formation such as new mole, suspicious lump or blemish should be checked by the doctor, melanoma is usually characterized by five distinct features (otherwise known as the “ABCDE” mnemonic):
- Asymmetry – the mole-like formation has unequal halves
- Borders - irregular borders that can be either ragged or blurred
- Color - irregular color patterns, the mole is covered in various shades of black and brown
- Evolving with time – the mole changes in appearance, size, and color If, however, the melanoma has managed to enter its metastatic phase, we’re talking about vastly more extreme, paraneoplastic symptoms, such as nausea, loss of appetite and a consequential weight loss, fatigue and vomiting. To avoid these symptoms and prevent the development of melanoma, one has to know its causes and risk factors.
What Causes Melanoma?
Certainly, the most well-known risk factor for melanoma is exposure to Ultraviolet rays, projected by the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps. Although UV rays comprise only a small portion of actual sun rays, it’s enough to initiate potentially fatal DNA mutations in human cells. Once the genes that are responsible for cell production are affected, the terrain becomes fertile to cancerous growths. People with atypical moles or a significant amount of regular moles, those who suffer from dysplastic nervus syndrome, possess fair skin or have a history of melanoma in their family are also exposed to a significantly higher level of risk. All in all, two essential risk factors are extended exposure to a high dosage of UV radiation and the genetics.
How to Prevent Melanoma
First and foremost, one should considerably minimize exposure to UV radiation. This means avoiding tanning beds and sun lights at all cost as well as using the standard protective measures when it comes to dealing with UV rays projected by the sun. Simple items such as sun protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreens can do wonders regarding the prevention of melanoma development. One should also keep an eye on the time spent in the sun. This can get rather tricky, as our body needs UV rays to produce vitamin D (which, in itself, is necessary to keep our health in good shape). With that said, it only takes around half an hour for the body to generate the necessary daily dose. Acknowledging that the given timeframe is enough for fair-skinned individuals to develop a serious sunburn, it is important to carry out the process gradually. Our body is able to produce vitamin D even if the exposure is intermittent. Of course, it is also of utter importance to maintain strong immune system. In practice this means all the standard prophylactic measures, such as regular exercises, healthy diet, abstention when it comes to excessive consumption of unhealthy substances and a regular intake of vitamin C. Enriching diet with foods that possess antioxidant properties. Brussel sprouts, green teas, pistachios, zucchini, garlic, citrus fruits and various types of cabbage should form the new foundation of your diet.
Alternative Treatment for Melanoma
Although the most widely used allopathic method of dealing with melanoma cancer is surgical removal (since it also boasts a high success rate), conventional methods such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy are frequently used to combat melanoma once it has spread.
Natural treatment for melanoma is also not excluded, yet should not be used as the sole method of battling the disease. If, however, used properly, remedies of natural origin can significantly boost the healing process and alleviate the symptoms of the disease. Apart from numerous naturopathic therapies, one can improve the skin’s natural defenses and maintain a healthy organism using the following compounds:
- Anthocyanins found in blackberries, bilberries, and honeyberries
- Tannins found in various fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee
- Caffeic acid found in apples, olive oil, wine, coffee, and cabbage
- Luteolin found in medicinal herbs, known as a major anticancer flavonoid
- Ursolic Acid found in holy basil tea
- Quercetin found in whole apples, known to protect against the harmful effects of UV rays
- Reservatol, a stilbene found in peanuts, berries, and grapes, known to inhibit the overproduction of melanin
Experts from EuroMed Foundation also recommend combining conventional therapies with well-tested and effective side treatments, such Ozone Steam Sauna therapy. Beneficial for practically all vital organs, as it takes away a great deal of stress during the conventional therapy course, it also proved to possess strong detoxifying qualities and is able to provide deep skin cleansing. Hyperthermia, a procedure that essentially subjects cancer to over metabolism which results in apoptosis, is another effective way to combat localized cancerous growths, particularly so when combined with our low-dose targeted chemotherapy, known as Insulin Potentiation Therapy. In order to positively stimulate one's immune system and keep the patient feeling like a healthy individual even during high-intensity therapy course, complementary therapies such as regular intake of blue scorpion venom (a homeopathic remedy that contains diluted blue scorpion venom) and intravenous delivery of vitamin C are also highly recommendable. These are just some of the alternative techniques employed at EuroMed Foundation to treat the symptoms of melanoma and improve the patient’s life quality during the conventional therapy course. To learn more about our melanoma cancer treatment options, go to our complementary therapies section or call our office at (602) 404-0400 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.