Although melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, only comprising about 1% of all skin cancer types, it is also the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. Along with skin cancer natural treatment, the foods that you eat may have a positive impact on your recovery and healing. Read on to learn more about fighting melanoma with diet.
A Look at Melanoma
Melanoma is a skin cancer that starts in the skin’s melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that are found at the uppermost layer of skin and are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment responsible for giving your skin, hair, and eyes their specific color.
While the exact cause is unknown, melanoma often develops because of prolonged UV radiation exposure from tanning beds or sun. The UV radiation damages the melanocytes, and over time, that damage can cause the melanocytes to mutate and grow out of control, forming into skin tumors which can be some of the first signs of melanoma. There may be instances in which you aren’t sure if growths are warts or skin cancer. However, identifying skin cancer will be your first order of business, and once you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, you can pursue treatment and healthy dietary options.
Foods That Help Skin Cancer
The link between a healthy diet and skin cancer still requires further study. While no single food can necessarily treat skin cancer or melanoma, eating the right foods or following the mediteranean diet may help to minimize your chances of getting skin cancer. Consider aiding your treatment with natural remedies for skin cancer and these skin cancer-fighting foods.
As mentioned, UV radiation is one of the main contributors to melanoma and skin cancer in general. Part of the damage from UV radiation comes as a result of free radicals, which can cause inflammation, alter cellular function, and create mutations at the DNA level, especially for people who don’t wear sunscreen and receive high levels of sun exposure. The main substances that can combat free radicals are antioxidants. Along with their potential to prevent skin cancer, antioxidants can contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. Thankfully, antioxidants are readily available in a large variety of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, serving as an excellent form of skin cancer prevention.
Along with antioxidant-rich foods that prevent skin cancer, consider foods high in lycopene. Commonly found in tomatoes, guava, watermelons, and apricots, lycopene is a pigment compound responsible for giving fruits and vegetables a characteristic red tinge. Lycopene is believed to protect tomatoes from sun damage. While it is no substitute for sunscreen, lycopene may help to prevent sun exposure that leads to skin damage and contributes to skin cancer.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fat commonly found in fish and certain legumes. Known for their natural anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids may also help to minimize the risk of skin cancer by boosting the skin’s immunities to sunlight and inhibiting a compound known as COX-2, which is believed to contribute to skin cancer progression from UV rays. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty fish, including mackerel, salmon, and tuna.
Polyphenols are one of the active compounds found in green tea. Polyphenols are known to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but they may also impede the development of tumors. Polyphenols have also been found to mend DNA in sun-damaged skin, absorb UV damage, and neutralize free radicals. However, be aware that drinking too much green tea often means introducing large amounts of caffeine into your system, which can disrupt your sleep and cause other health issues.
Foods for Melanoma
Fighting melanoma with diet can vary based on your own needs and the development of the cancer. However, some studies suggest that certain melanomas, and other cancers that are driven by a specific mutation, may feed on a high-fat diet, spurring their growth. As a result, incorporating lipid-lowering agents or maintaining a diet that is low in fats may suppress the cancer’s growth. However, this specific mutation only applies to about 60 percent of melanomas.
Related to a low-fat diet, many experts recommend a mediteranean diet that is high in protein during melanoma treatment. Protein is known to help the body fight infections, strengthen muscles, and generally assist in healing.
Plenty of H2O
Hydration also plays a vital role during cancer treatment. Drink plenty of water and maintain your fluid intake to prevent dehydration and promote healing and detoxification.
How to Prevent Melanoma
Worried that you’re at an increased risk for developing melanoma? Even if you don’t spend hours in sunbeds, you can still be at a high skin cancer risk if you’re not careful. Even a little sunburn can cause skin damage that leads to cancer cells.
If you are looking to reduce your skin cancer risk, start by reducing your sun exposure to harmful UV rays. High amounts of UV exposure without sun protection can damage the skin cells. When spending time outdoors, make sure to use sun protection and wear clothing that covers exposed skin.
By reducing your UV exposure and preventing sun damage to your skin, you’ll be able to get one step closer to cancer prevention.
Healthy Food For Melanoma Prevention
Foods on their own may not stop melanoma or skin cancers, but used in concurrence with treatment, your diet can act as a foundation for improving your general health and well-being. At Immunity Therapy Center, we believe in treating your cancer holistically. This is why we provide our patients with melanoma with healthy, organic meals to fuel them through the process of the treatment program. If you’re looking to take the natural route and pursue alternative cancer treatments, contact us today. And before you make any diet decisions, consult your doctor to learn more about a healthy diet plan for fighting skin cancer and supporting your recovery.
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.