Diagnosis and Treatments for the Epidemic of Skin Cancer


Advancing Naturopathic Medicine ~ 2016

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For over one hundred years, society has experienced the epidemic of skin cancer. New findings suggest that the epidemic is preventable. Treatments are simply topical vitamins that are naturally found in the epidermis. This suggests that naturopathic physicians can and should play a pivotal role as the agents of change. Current data illustrates that 50% of all cancer is skin cancer. There are 3.5 million surgeries per year in the US to treat skin cancer. In Victoria, BC alone, there are 20 per day. The odds of getting skin cancer are significant. Your risk is one in five, however, your chances increase to one in two, or 50 per cent, if you are over 65. The volume of patients affected qualifies as an epidemic. What have we learned during this epidemic? Fitzpatrick type 1 (always burns, never tans) have rates 100 times higher than those with black skin. Redheads and blondes are a further two times. Latitude plays a role. The frequency doubles every 10 degrees of latitude. Altitude also has an impact. Rates of skin cancer increase every 1000 feet of altitude (this effects pilots). One?s occupation can also increase susceptibility. Occupational groups that have the highest skin cancer risk are those with the most sun exposure (e.g., boaters, sailors and outdoor workers). Lastly, family history greatly increases the likelihood that an individual will be diagnosed with skin cancer. When one parent has had skin cancer, the patient is four times more likely to have skin cancer. If both parents have had skin cancer, then the risk increases to 18 times. This is the key group to target preventive therapy.