As an albino ginger the thought of summer sends an electrifying chill down my spine. Unfortunately, a daily coating of sunburn has never, nor will it ever, be a pleasant experience. For my father, a native ginger like me, the daily grind of sunburn has meant regular checks at the skin specialist and countless biopsies to determine whether his years in the Australian sun have resulted in melanoma. Fortunately, this has never been the case, yet his body bears the scars of over 100 basal cell carcinomas (BCC). For this reason, I have decided to address the topic melanoma. Melanoma accounts for approximately 5 percent of skin cancers, yet is the most dangerous of all cancers. Melanoma arises from pigment cells in the skin and usually takes the form of a very dark, irregular coloured spot or nodule. It is suggested that the risk of melanoma is increased as a result of occasional, intense exposure e.g. blistering sunburns (especially during childhood), rather than long term sun exposure. Common locations for melanoma include the back and scalp in men and legs in women, areas not usually exposed extensively to the sun. Unlike other cancers, melanoma may remain inactive for years, may even regress temporarily, and then suddenly metastasize to lymph nodes or vital organs.

From a natural therapies perspective there are a number of factors which need to be taken into account when supporting conventional treatment. However, in the context of this address I will only be identifying simple and accessible natural remedies that can be used under the supervision of a qualified health
care practitioner.

  • Siberian Ginseng: when used alongside chemotherapy treatment, has been shown to markedly reduce the toxic effect of chemotherapy on the body.
  • Beta 1,3 Glucan:
    shown to reduce the risk of developing further melanomas, once first diagnosed.
  • Selenium:
    frequently used in cancer prevention, its use to reduce the risk of melanoma is advisable.

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