We all know that the antioxidants contained in fresh vegetables such as leafy green vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash are very powerful when it comes to fighting the effects of free radicals. Limiting free radicals means you stand less chance of developing cell abnormalities that can lead to skin cancer and melanoma.
What you eat can really help protect you against skin cancer, as can staying safe in the sun. However, prevention isn’t the only aspect of skin cancer that we need to be aware of. Performing regular skin checks and looking out for the symptoms of skin cancer and melanoma will help you catch it in time and get the treatment that you need. If you do need treatment, your diet comes into play again. New studies have revealed that certain foods can actually help treat skin cancer and melanoma. Combining these superfoods with your skin cancer or melanoma treatment means that you will stand even more chance of fighting skin cancer successfully.
L-fucose: what is it?
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have discovered that a number of vegetables contain an unusual type of sugar that actually fight melanoma. The sugar is called L-fucose and can be found in mushrooms, seaweed, seeds and other foods.
In the study, the scientists tampered with the metabolism of the L-fucose in certain foods. They soon discovered that this special sugar could inhibit melanoma tumour metastasis. It could actually stop tumours from growing and affecting the area of skin cells around them. Being able to stop a tumour from developing by using a natural sugar like this, is remarkable but the real breakthrough is that the microenvironment (the cells surrounding the tumour) were affected by the treatment. This is a really positive step in the treatment of skin cancer and melanoma.
Previous studies have also linked L-fucose to cancer and it is believed that the amount of L-fucose that is present in the body can have a direct effect on stomach and breast cancer.
Help to stop the spreading of melanoma?
Unfortunately, it is common for melanoma patients to become resistant to the drugs they’re given. L-fucose could be used to enhance treatment and stop melanoma from spreading. As melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, then this is a really positive development.
Further tests are being done so that we can ascertain how best to use L-fucose as a form of therapy. Already, the scientists have seen very impressive results simply by adding L-fucose to drinking water. As well as inhibiting the growth of a tumour and stopping it from affecting the microenvironment, the scientists have found that introducing dietary sugar into a treatment programme mean that the number of helpful immune cells is increased and the patient stands more chance of fighting melanoma.
It can be reassuring to know that scientists are constantly finding new cures and ways to combat skin cancer and melanoma. Often these treatments come from natural sources. By practising sun safety and enjoying a balanced and healthy diet we can give ourselves the best possible chances. No matter how vigilant you are, please keep performing regular skin checks so that you can seek treatment immediately should any potential symptoms of skin cancer or melanoma emerge.