What Is Melanoma?
Melanoma occurs when the cells that form the skin start growing in number at an atypical rate. Such rapid growth causes the creation of tumors that originate in the cells that synthesize melanin, pigments that determine the color of our skin.
The Most Common Instigators are:
- Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB radiations either through natural sources like the sun or through artificial sources like tanning machines.
- A compromised immune system
- Inherited gene mutations
- Lighter skin tone
- Too many moles
What Are The Typical Early Signs Of Melanoma?
Alterations in existing moles or an appearance of fresh ones are the initial signs of carcinoma of the skin. Here is how you can differentiate between a Melanoma-related mole and a regular one using the ABCDE theory
- A – A cancerous mole is of an asymmetrical shape as opposed to a regular one that can be split in the middle to form two identical mirror images.
- B- Cancerous moles have a haphazard border as compared to regular moles that have smooth edges.
- C – An abnormal mole tends to display shades of colour as compared to a normal mole that is single toned.
- D – Cancerous moles typically have a larger diameter than their regular counterparts.
- E – A melanoma-related mole is ever-changing in physical appearance while a regular mole stays the same over time.
What Are The Treatment Protocols Used For Melanoma?
- Surgical Procedure to excise the cancerous growth
- Immunotherapy to give a boost to the body’s immune mechanism to target cancer cells
- Chemotherapy to chemically annihilate the errant cells.
- Radiotherapy to target abnormally growing cells using strong rays.
What Is Chemoprevention?
Chemoprevention is a technique that relies on the ability of natural substances to prevent precancerous lesions from turning into aggressive cancerous growths. It is said to curb the progress of melanoma by blocking various pro-cancer molecular pathways in the body, thus preventing as well as containing tumour growth, inhibiting metastasis, and preventing the development of resistance towards chemotherapy drugs.
Curcumin As A Chemopreventive Agent For Managing Melanomas
Curcumin is a therapeutic natural compound that is widely used to manage a variety of ailments starting from superficial wounds to more sinister diseases like cancer. Extracted from the spice turmeric, curcumin is a polyphenolic pigment which possesses a rich yellow hue. In case if melanomas, the chemopreventive action of curcumin can prove to be quite beneficial. Here are some reasons why:
- Curcumin has been found to be very efficacious at blocking pro-cancer enzymes that promote the formation of melanoma tumours. Enzymes like xanthine oxidase, tyrosine kinase, cyclooxygenase, and lipo-oxygenase are all kept in check by curcumin, thereby inhibiting the development of malignant tumours.
- Curcumin can reduce the rate of cancer cell survival immensely by targeting NF-kb and XIAP pathways. What’s more, curcumin triggers this action selectively in cancer cells and not in regular melanocytes thereby safeguarding the healthy cells.
- Applying curcumin topically to the skin helps prevent the activation of NF-kb in cultured keratinocytes by UVB radiations. It also helps avoid TPA-triggered tumour formation.
- Curcumin also reduces the chances of the proliferation of melanoma cells and metastasis by keeping matrix metalloproteinases in check.
- Curcumin helps repair the damage caused by overexposure to UVA and UVB radiations by triggering repair procedures that fix damaged DNA.
How To Choose A Suitable Curcumin Supplement For Chemoprevention
The most prominent characteristics of a suitable Curcumin Supplement when it comes to Melanoma prevention and management are as follows:
- The curcumin used to make the supplement should come from a wild strand
- The curcumin used should not be treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- The curcumin used should be free from chemical residues
- The curcumin used should be organically grown
- The curcumin used should not be genetically modified.
- The curcumin used should be grown using organic manure.
- The curcumin used should be handled with care to avoid introduction of adulterants.
One of the very few supplements that satisfy all these criteria is Oncomin. A product created by Bagdara Farms, Dermaturm is made using locally grown organic curcumin and is therefore ideal for all types of patients