The Ugly Beauty Mark
Many features on the human body are prized for their inherent beauty, one of which even includes the term “beauty”. For decades, beauty marks have been admired, with popular figures like Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford being envied for their perfectly placed marks. The name draws attention, but it’s really just a fancier way of saying mole. These black or brown spots are just pigmented skin cells called melanocytes that cluster together instead of dispersing throughout the skin. The average person has between 10 and 40 moles. Most moles are benign, meaning they’re completely harmless. Moles can change in color, shape, texture, or even grow hair. Although most of these changes are normal, moles can change into a very ugly problem.
Some spots on the skin can develop into skin cancer, a very common diagnosis. In fact, non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States. One in five people will develop skin cancer by 70 years of age.
There are multiple types of skin cancer, and the type dictates the course of treatment and prognosis. With all cancers, detecting it as soon as possible makes a significant difference. It’s recommended that people more than age 30 receive annual exams by a dermatologist. It’s also important to perform self-checks as often as possible. When checking moles and other spots, remember ABCDE.
A- It’s a good idea to have any spot that has an ASYMMETRICAL shape looked at. Normal, benign moles are generally symmetrical.
B- A benign mole will have smooth and even BORDERS, while certain lesions typically have irregular borders that are difficult to define.
C- Uneven distribution of COLOR or the presence of more than one color could be a warning sign that a mark needs to be looked at. A benign mole should be a single shade.
D- Any mole or mark greater than six millimeters (think of a pencil eraser) in DIAMETER should be examined by a dermatologist.
E- The most important factor to consider is the EVOLUTION of a mole. This is why self-checking is very important. Any mole or mark that has recently changed in size or color should be looked at immediately.
There are other cancer options besides toxic drugs and radiation, or painful surgery. Alternative treatments with vitamin C is just one of the many natural options available for addressing cancer. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant and a nutrient needed for more than 10,000 biochemical reactions in the body. Cancer cells exist by fermenting glucose into energy. Vitamin C and glucose are virtually identical molecules in shape and size; they also use the same ports to enter a cell. A complicated response begins within the cancer cell after it absorbs high levels of vitamin C. This vitamin helps produce certain elements that can deprive the cancer cell of energy, basically starving the cancer cell. Vitamin C can also increase collagen production, which helps to confine tumors. Skin cancer can spread throughout the body, severely impacting the survival rate. Being able to contain tumor growth is especially important for any cancer patient. Vitamin C further helps to prevent tumors from spreading by inhibiting hyaluronidase, an enzyme used by tumors to metastasize.
The only negative factor about vitamin C is the high levels required to accomplish the many therapeutic benefits. The amount needed could never be taken orally; instead, it needs to be administered intravenously. Only knowledgeable naturopaths should be consulted for intravenous (IV) cancer treatments. They have the skill set needed to tailor each treatment to the patient. There are other nutrient-based IV therapies available through a naturopath. Homeopathic remedies can also be prescribed to help unburden the immune system, freeing it to attack cancer cells.
Beauty marks can and should be appreciated, but only after they and any other mark are checked over by a dermatologist. If any spot causes concern, address it immediately with a naturopath.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments for each patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.