ESTIMATED READING TIME 5 MINUTES
Basal Cell Carcinoma, otherwise known as BCC, is the most common type of skin cancer, accounting for around 75% of all cancers affecting the skin. In this blog you’ll discover why BCC develops and how you can reduce your risk.
Like any cancer, BCC occurs when processes controlling the normal growth of cells go awry. Cells don’t die off when they should and start to multiply out of control. In the case of BCC, cells close to the skin’s surface are affected.
Although a type of cancer, BCCs are less liable to spread than other types of skin cancer. Because of this, they’re referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers.
Quite simply, the trigger for developing BCC lies in sun damage. Both the duration and severity of sun exposure are directly linked to the incidence of BCC.
When sunlight hits your skin, ultraviolet rays generate free radicals in your skin cells. These are unstable molecules, which if allowed to run amok, damage cells’ DNA and cause mutations associated with cancer. Free radical damage increases inflammation in the skin, too.
People with fair skin which does not tan are at a higher risk of BCC. This is because they lack melanin, the skin’s protective brown pigment.
BCCs can take many forms. They may appear as a flat flesh-coloured lesion, a shiny bump, or a spot that won’t heal or feels itchy.
It’s therefore hugely important to check your skin regularly for any changes from its normal appearance.
Stay out of the Sun
Keeping out of the sun is crucial. You need exposure to natural light for your wellbeing and to manufacture vitamin D, but burning your skin is definitely a bad idea. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, stay in the shade when possible and wear SPF sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Choose a sun protection cream made of natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals. Natural substances designed as barriers, like zinc oxide, cause the sun’s rays to safely bounce off your skin.
Vitamin D is needed by your immune system to protect you from cancer. However, it’s far safer to take a supplement of this nutrient than to risk sunburn.
Load up on Skin-Friendly Antioxidants
Antioxidants are your body’s natural tools to neutralise the free radicals that otherwise harm DNA and cause cells to turn cancerous. Because sun exposure triggers the production of free radicals in your skin, your body will be depleted of its antioxidant stores. So, you’ll need to load up on antioxidants to compensate.
Antioxidants are concentrated in colourful plant foods and it’s vital to consume a good mixture. You can do this by choosing lots of different coloured fruits and vegetables to decorate your plate.
Certain antioxidants known as carotenoids seem to be particularly protective towards skin cells. These antioxidants have been found in studies to prevent skin damage from ultraviolet rays and therefore reduce the likelihood of developing sunburn and skin cancer 1. They include beta carotene, found in carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash, and lycopene, rich in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, and red peppers. Finally there’s lutein, found in dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach; yellow peppers and egg yolks.
Other antioxidants called polyphenols, found in green tea, may also reduce your risk of skin cancer. A review of scientific studies concluded they seem to encourage the processes of repairing DNA damage from sunlight 2.
In research, a type of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide can reduce the development of BCC and other skin cancers, again by helping skin to repair. It seems to have anti-inflammatory effects, too. Nicotinamide is naturally found in meat, fish, mushrooms, legumes and grains.
Your practitioner will recommend a supplement containing skin-protective antioxidants and other nutrients if this would benefit you.
Ditch the Alcohol
Some research suggests people who drink alcohol have a higher risk of developing BCC 3. Enjoy non-alcoholic spritzers instead.
Look After Your Gut
Your skin is often considered to be your largest organ and its condition reflects the health of the rest of your body. It has a particularly close connection with your gut. Ensuring your gut is healthy will protect your skin, too.
If you would like to maximise your protection from BCC with personalised dietary, supplement and lifestyle measures, we’re here to help. Contact us to start your journey to optimal skin health.
Do you need personalised natural support for skin health? Then book a free 15-minute discovery call to see if Functional Medicine is for you.
Please enter your details below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
FOR ALL THE LATEST NUTRITION & WELLNESS NEWS & OFFERS
Login to your account to access your personal dashboard
Create your free account to gain access to free content and a customer dashboard to access your orders, appointments and subscribed courses. A verification email will be sent to the address provided.
Please enter your contact details below and some details of your Fibromyalgia for your discovery call and we will get back to you to arrange a suitable time for your FREE 15 Minute Call
Please enter your contact details below and some details of your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for your discovery call and we will get back to you to arrange a suitable time for your FREE 15 Minute Call
Please enter your contact details below and some details of your symptoms for your discovery call and we will get back to you to arrange a suitable time for your FREE 15 Minute Call
Please enter your contact details below and the reason for your discovery call and we will get back to you to arrange a suitable time for your FREE 15 Minute Discovery Call
If you wish to reschedule your appointment, please fill out the reschedule booking request form below.
Booking Re-schedules need to be approved and are processed manually. You will receive confirmation of your rescheduled booking once processed.
If you would rather cancel your appointment, then please close this form and select Consultation Cancel Request from the menu.
If an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours-notice 50% fee will be incurred. If an appointment is not attended a 100% fee will be charged.
If an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours-notice by Embracing Nutrition, a 50% reduction of your next appointment will be made.