This simple at-home test reveals your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Your Right Arm Reveals If You’ll Get Skin Cancer

In All Health Watch, Anti-Aging, Featured Article, Longevity, Skincare by INH Research4 Comments

Want to know if you’re at risk for skin cancer? New research shows that you can tell just by looking at your right arm.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, with 3.5 million cases a year in the U.S. Almost 74,000 Americans get diagnosed each year with the deadliest type, melanoma. Some 10,000 die from it annually and the numbers are growing.1

Doctors often repeat the conventional wisdom that sun exposure causes skin cancer. But unless the exposure causes sunburn, there is little risk. The real danger comes from sunburns. That what triggers deadly melanoma.2

And cancer can emerge decades after sunburns have occurred.

Are you are risk? Here’s how to tell.

A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that the number of moles on your right arm is a good indicator of your cancer risk.3

More than 11 moles on your arm indicates a significantly higher-than-average chance of getting melanomas or other skin cancers.

To check yourself, you need to know the difference between a mole and a freckle.4

Freckles are small, flat, and usually pale brown. They are not present at birth and are often temporary.

Moles are usually darker than freckles and can be present at birth. They can be raised or flat and often become more prominent with age. Moles don’t disappear.

Note: Researchers chose the right arm over the left arm for consistency in their study. But it is likely that moles on the left arm are equally predictive of cancer.

If you count more than 11 moles on your arm, it does not mean you are doomed to get cancer. There are simple steps you can take to lower your chances:

  • Don’t get sunburned. This means taking sensible precautions such as wearing a hat and other protective clothing.

Surprisingly, some household cooking oils can protect you. Coconut oil has an SPF of 4-6 and almond oil around 5. Some other oils work even better. Raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 25-30 and carrot seed oil 35-40. They are available at health food stores or online.5

Badger brand sunscreen is one commercial product that includes natural ingredients. It uses “non-nano” zinc oxide as the sun blocker. This means the particles are not small enough to pass into your bloodstream where they could do harm. Badger gets the highest scores for safety from the Environmental Working Group.

  • Take a vitamin D3 supplement. You can get all the vitamin D you need by getting plenty of sunlight. But for those at higher risk for skin cancer, taking a supplement may be safer than the sun. Take 5,000 IUs of D3 a day. Vitamin D lowers risk for basal cell skin cancer, according to researchers. 6
  • Drink coffee. Researchers have found that for each daily cup of coffee you drink, there’s a 5% drop in your odds of getting non-melanoma skin cancer. 7
  • Never use a tanning bed. Studies show they dramatically increase cancer risk.

If you do get sun burned, be sure to completely avoid the sun until you’re healed. Further exposure greatly damages your skin’s ability to naturally protect itself from cancer.

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Publisher, INH Health Watch

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References:
1http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/sunanduvexposure/skin-cancer-facts
2http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873840/
3http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.14216/abstract
4http://www.riversideonline.com/health_reference/Questions-Answers/AN00399.cfm
5http://wellnessmama.com/2558/homemade-sunscreen/
6http://www.cancer.org/research/acsresearchupdates/skincancer/vitamin-d-holds-skin-cancer-drug-potential
7http://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/features/12-ways-protect-skin-cancer

Comments

  1. For people who drive with their left arm on the window edge, they might be far more inclined to have sun damage on that arm than the right arm.
    Of my three siblings and my parents and I, I am the only one who has yet to develop skin cancer. Probably because I never could stand to sunbath or to be out in the sun unprotected for too long. Back in the days before people were aware of the relationship between too much sun exposure and skin cancer, most of my friends would go out and lay in the sun at the beginning of warm weather to start their yearly tan. I always felt like I was roasting myself when I’d try that and so never took part. And my brothers would go out and do yard work for spending money without their shirts on, both of them have had skin cancers removed. Both parents, my sister, and one of my brothers skin cancers were all on their nose, and were apparently removed with no problem. The other brother has had recurrent skin cancer problems for several years now.
    When I was in the Army in the late 60s, most of the other WACs would go out and sunbathe and I, again, could not stand to do so. I’m wondering how many of them have since developed skin cancer. I guess it was just grace of God that I could not stand to feel like Bar-B-Qing myself, as I think that is the likely main reason I have not developed the skin cancers of so many of my friends and family.
    I checked both arms, no moles on either. But I did have a large mole removed from my back while in the Army, not because it was cancerous, but because my bra kept rubbing against it and irritating it and it was easier to get it removed on Lumps and Bumps Day at the hospital.

  2. This question is not about skin cancer but breast cancer, if you don’t mind. Has anyone looked into how many people who develop breast cancer have taken either birth control pills or hormone replacement medicines? I’m really curious, since it seems from things I’ve read that there is some relationship between synthetic estrogen and breast cancer. Also would be interested to know how many people who develop breast cancer who have not taken hormones had mothers who had taken them? Am curious as to whether, if there is a relationship at all, if the use of hormones by a person’s mother can affect that person’s chances of breast cancer later in that person’s life, even if they never took hormones themselves.
    It seems to be that breast cancer started skyrocketing about the time birth control pills started being used, and I just have to wonder if there is any sort of causal relationship. I am not a scientist, just follow the literature, and so I’m hoping that you all, who have far more scientific training than I do, can answer these questions for me.

  3. interesting that the image you used is looking at the left arm, or is it a mirror image ?

  4. Check. I don’t use sunscreen. I don’t use a tanning bed, but I’m not sure that the evidence proves they are any more dangerous than being in the sun. I’m 68 and have been riding motorcycles since I was 17. I have never worn sunscreen and my skin has no age spots and it is soft and flexible. I haven’t smoked in thirty years and I have greatly reduced sugar, bread and cereals.

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