Want to do more to outsmart skin cancer? Everyone knows the basics, such as wearing more clothing to protect your skin from sun rays, slather on the SPF, reapply as necessary, and step away from the suntan beds. But for even more protection, follow these 3 steps, too:
- Eat a Mediterranean-style diet. Take in more leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, citrus fruits, olive oil, and fish. A Mediterranean diet can cut your melanoma risk in half because these items contain antioxidants which help guard against damage from UV radiation.
- Down an Advil. NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-infammaory drugs) such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen may lower the risk of skin cancers. These drugs clock certain enzymes that aid the multiplication of cancer cells. (do this only if you are in need of pain relief)
- Drink caffeine. Research indicates coffee and tea drinkers have a lower incidence of skin cancer. It appears caffeine helps the body rid itself of UV-damaged skin cells before they become malignant.
Another important step to outsmarting skin cancer is to do self-administered skin test. Remember your ABCDEUs! (see a Dr if you see a mole/spot with ANY of these unique traits):
A=Asymmetry – the spot is not a circle, so maybe one side is shaped differently from the other.
B=Border – jagged or blurred edges, not even.
C=Color – multiple shades of red, black, or brown
D=Diameter – most melanomas are approximately the size of a pencil eraser or bigger.
E=Evolving – the color has changed, the size has changed, or the shape has changed, regardless of the amount of time … week, month, year, or decade. See your Dr.
U=Ugly Duckling – if you have any moles/spots that look differently from the others on your body, see your Dr and get them checked out.