Preventing Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Relapse

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Reduce Your Risk of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Recurrence and Look Younger Doing It

If you have been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer (Basel Cell or Squamous Cell Carcinoma) you are in the cancer sweet spot. The bad news is that you have been diagnosed with cancer (!) and you will have the motivation to take those steps needed to manage your health. The good news is that your odds of a cure are excellent though you do have a risk of progressing to melanoma and a risk of recurrence.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at a Glance-

  • Risks– UV Exposure, HPV, Genetics, Skin Pigment, Immunosuppression, Radiation Therapy, Age, Previous Skin Cancer,
  • Symptoms– Itching, Bleeding, Shape (A,B,C,D,E).
  • Diagnosis– Visual inspection (A,B,C,D,E), Skin Biopsy (Shave, Punch, Incisional/Excisional)
  • Prognosis- Staging-
  • Therapy– Conventional, Non-Conventional, Integrative, Alternative

Image result for photo of crow's feet

What I mean by a sweet spot is that you should be fine as long as you take the steps needed to prevent a non-melanoma skin cancer recurrence. Here is the best part. Many of the therapies that will protect you from NMSC recurrence can heal some of the damage you may have done to your skin (sun burn or indoor tanning?).

Let me give you an example. According to the study linked below, supplementing with botanicals such as silymarin (milk thistle) can reduce your risk of skin cancer.

To learn more about other evidence-based therapies that can help prevent the development of non-melanoma skin cancer or relapse, please watch the short video below:


I underwent radiation therapy for a previous cancer. Further, I underwent a bone marrow transplant. Both of these therapies increased my risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. I take my skin cancer risk reduction very seriously. I supplement with milk thistle daily.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach.

Scroll down the page to post a question or a comment about skin cancer. I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Click Now to watch a WSJ video about Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

What to Watch for After Skin Cancer

“Non-melanoma skin cancer is on the rise; increased risk of recurrence”

“Non-melanoma skin-cancer, already the most common type of cancer in the U.S., puts patients at an increased risk not only for more skin cancer, but for other potentially more serious cancers…

They are emphasizing the need for continued use of sunscreen, sun avoidance and protective clothing, which can help prevent future malignancies even when sun damage has already been done…

More women now are being diagnosed than in the past, including those under 40, a trend that has been linked to use of indoor tanning beds

After patients have had a basal cell carcinoma the risk of another increases by 40%, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Squamous cell cancers can also recur, often within two years of removal. Patients with both types of non-melanoma cancers are also are at increased risk for developing melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. And recent studies have found patients with non-melanoma skin cancers have an increased risk of a second primary cancer, including a breast and lung cancer in women and prostate cancer in men…

“Once this disease affects you, you have to spend the rest of your life being checked,” Mr. Cater says…

The JAMA Dermatology study of all non-melanoma skin cancers, which relied on federal data including Medicare claims, estimated total number of non-melanoma skin cancers in 2012 at 5.4 million and the number of patients treated at 3.3 million. The total number of patients undergoing at least one procedure for non-melanoma skin cancers increased by 14% from 2006 to 2012…”

Silymarin and skin cancer prevention: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (Review).

“Chronic exposure of solar UV radiation to the skin leads to basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Chemoprevention of skin cancer by consumption of naturally occurring botanicals appears a practical approach and therefore world-wide interest is considerably increasing to use these botanicals…

Silymarin, a plant flavonoid isolated from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum), has been shown to have chemopreventive effects against chemical carcinogenesis as well as photocarcinogenesis in various animal tumor models…”

Topical Curcumin-Based Cream Is Equivalent to Dietary Curcumin in a Skin Cancer Model

“Skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the most common cancer in the USA, is a growing problem with the use of tanning booths causing sun-damaged skin. Antiproliferative effects of curcumin were demonstrated in an aggressive skin cancer cell line SRB12-p9 ( compared to control).

Topical formulation was as effective as oral curcumin at suppressing tumor growth in a mouse skin cancer model. Curcumin at 15 mg administered by oral, topical, or combined formulation significantly reduced tumor growth compared to control ().

  • Inhibition of pAKT, pS6, p-4EBP1, pSTAT3, and pERK1/2 was noted in SRB12-p9 cells post-curcumin treatment compared to control ().
  • Inhibition of pSTAT3 and pERK1/2 was also noted in curcumin-treated groups in vivo. IHC analysis revealed human tumor specimens that expressed significantly more activated pERK () and pS6 () than normal skin samples.

This is the first study to compare topical curcumin to oral curcumin. Our data supports the use of curcumin as a chemopreventive for skin SCC where condemned skin is a significant problem. Prevention strategies offer the best hope of future health care costs in a disease that is increasing in incidence due to increased sun exposure…”


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