Skin cancer sneaks up on most folks. It can be present for years, slowly growing and unnoticed.
A freckle may quietly transform into a troubling mole and go unseen. Or, without any fanfare, a mole could begin to change color or size, but still fly under the radar.
Until one day you have a doctor handing you a skin cancer diagnosis.
No mater your age, skin cancer is potentially serious. But it turns out seniors often face a much tougher battle as the disease gets more difficult to treat as we age.
Until now why this happened was mostly a mystery. But researchers now say they may have just finally cracked this mystery. And with this discovery they now have a good idea exactly what can be done about it.
More on that treatment in just a moment, but let’s first take a closer look at the details of the breakthrough study.
Older folks low in a melanoma-fighting protein
Researchers got skin samples from two groups of volunteers. A younger group that was made up of folks 25 to 35 years old, and an older group made up of more mature volunteers who were 55 to 65 years old.
The samples revealed a surprising secret. There was significantly more of a specific protein, called beta-catenin, in the skin samples from the younger group.
That’s a big deal because beta-catenin blocks melanoma cells. Without enough of the protein in your skin your body is unable to stop the skin cancer from spreading.
The experts theorize it’s these low beta-catenin levels that are at the heart of why the mainstream approaches to treating skin cancer stop working so often in seniors. But finally knowing the likely cause also gave the researchers an idea for what would work, according to the study published in the journal Nature.
And stunningly it’s a safe natural remedy, and one I just happen to use in my own practice regularly.
Natural amino acid could help tackle skin cancer
N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, is an amino acid that’s converted into the super-antioxidant glutathione in your body. And sure enough, in the lab NAC was able to kill the melanoma cells from older folks.
More research needs to be done, of course, but we already know that antioxidants can be very effective in the fight against all kinds of cancers. In fact, we’ve known for decades that another powerful antioxidant (one I also use in my own practice), vitamin C, can tackle cancer.
So that fact that NAC spurs the production of a potent antioxidant makes it an excellent candidate for fighting skin cancer.
If you’re interested in taking NAC, which is also a tremendous immune system booster, you can easily find it in most health food stores and online.
And don’t forget, with melanoma it’s all about preventing it in the first place and detecting it early if you do happen to develop it. If you’ve had serious sunburns in the past, have naturally pale skin or light hair you’re at a higher risk, so keep a close eye on your skin. And always have a doctor take a closer look at anything that appears off or changed.
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