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Tips For Lowering Risk of Skin Cancer

Tips For Lowering Risk of Skin Cancer

Protecting yourself against skin cancer involves more than just staying out of the sun. The right diet could mean the difference between life and death, MiNDFOOD reports.

Tips For Lowering Risk of Skin Cancer

What do you think of when someone says ‘summer’? Usually it’s glorious images of searing sunshine, tanned bodies, surf, barbecues and the great outdoors. However healthy and appealing the image, in real life sunshine and long days at the beach can turn out be a death sentence. An overdose of UV rays can lead to skin cancer, and the most frightening skin cancer of all, melanoma.

TOP TIPS FOR LOWERING MELANOMA AND SKIN CANCER RISK

Avoid excessive 
sun exposure

Cover up with clothing, a hat and sunblock during peak UV times.

Use a sunblock of at least SPF15 that contains physical sunblockers such as titanium or zinc oxide to reduce 
UVA exposure.

More fruit and veg

Increase fruit and vegetables in your diet to boost antioxidant intake. Have a generous daily serving of yellow or orange and green fruits and vegetables to increase beta-carotene intake.

Keep dietary fats low

Avoid trans fats (listed as hydrogenated fats in ingredients).

Less omega-6

Minimise omega-6 fats such as sunflower, safflower, soy and corn oil and margarine.

More omega-3

Increase omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds. Eat oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herrings and tuna three to four times a week.

Keep alcohol 
intake low

Just four drinks a week could double your risk of melanoma.

Vitamin D

Have your vitamin-D levels checked with a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test. If your levels are below 50-80ng/ml, ask your doctor about supplementing with D3. Vitamin D is made in your body in response to sunlight exposure. Exposing unprotected skin for 10 minutes in peak UV times will boost vitamin D levels if they are low. If you are fair skinned, have red or blond 
hair and blue eyes or 
have lots of moles or a family 
history of melanoma, use 
D3 supplements instead of relying on sun exposure.

IS YOUR MOLE 
A MELANOMA?

Check your moles regularly and have a regular mole check with your doctor or dermatologist. To decide if your mole is suspicious and needs further medical investigation, use the ABCD rule:

A FOR ASYMMETRY

Moles are usually symmetrical and round. Melanomas often have irregular borders and shapes.

B FOR BORDER

Moles usually have smooth, regular borders. Melanomas often have uneven borders or scalloped edges.

C FOR COLOUR

Moles are usually one colour, often brown. Melanomas are often unusual colours or mixed colours, including reds, blues and white.

D FOR DIAMETER

Melanomas often grow larger than moles, and can easily grow to the size of a pencil eraser.

 

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