August 20, 2013

Milk Thistle May Protect Against Skin Cancer

I've been trying to find more information about this, as it sounds quite promising...

"A bright purple flower could play a role in protecting against skin cancer, according to two new studies.
New research from the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows that not only does milk thistle extract, called silibinin, protect against skin cancer-causing ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation, but it also kills cells that have undergone mutations due to ultraviolet-A (UVA) radiation -- a process that would potentially lead to cancer."

I have ordered some milk thistle extract to apply to my skin. There are also capsules, supplements, which can be taken internally. If the silibinin can actually protect against and kill mutated cells, I think this is very big news. Will have to wait and see what future studies have to say.  For now, I'm doing my own study at home!

August 2013

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info. It's certainly worth checking out. BTW, your posts on recovering from Moh's and a skin graft were extremely helpful to me in my journey with skin cancer. Thanks!!!

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  2. I'm glad to hear my blog has been helpful to you and appreciate your taking the time to write me a note.

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  3. Echoing Kathy above--I am going through the exact same thing on Wednesday AM (melanoma in exact location as yours) and I am amazed at the lack of information on the internet. Thanks for doing this and it's a great comfort to see how nicely you've recovered. -Mike

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    1. Thanks very much, Mike. I'm happy to know this blog is some comfort. Best to you on Wednesday.

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  4. You look amazing! I discovered your blog after surgery last week for basal cell carcinoma. Fortunately!! it is on the side of my face but quite large. You have given me hope, thank you so much.

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  5. My surgeries were Oct 31 and Nov 1. My "pepperoni" is on the left cheek, 51mm (~2") in diameter. Thank you for your story, your blog has provided a general sense of the path ahead. Please let me know when it was you were provided instruction on massaging the graft area and what you were asked to do. At my three weed check-up my plastic surgeon's nurses asked me to lightly apply moisturizer once a day but said nothing about massage.

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    1. Hello,
      Approximately 3 weeks after my surgery, I was told to do scar massage 10-20 times per day to flatten the outer rim. Any time I had an idle hand, it was what I should be doing. I applied cocoa butter to the graft at first for this, but found that pure argan oil worked best. Or pure rose hip oil. And oddly enough, my banana discovery was very helpful for pressing on the scar tissue - here's how I did that. Cut a piece of soft banana peel to cover the graft, tape it or hold it on there and press. Sometimes I'd tape that on for a couple of hours. It helped me apply pressure. When I went for my one-month check-up the doctor told me to press even harder than I had been! The massage, especially around the rim, is to soften the scar tissue to keep it from hardening in one position over the course of the day. I also wore a piece of silicone sheet for scars (which sticks on the graft but is easily peeled off) at night which would help flatten. The silicone also provided a good surface to press on before going to sleep. Sorry you have a pepperoni now! I am grateful to my doctor and nurses for the massage advice. I think it made a significant difference in how the area healed. Best to you with your healing.

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  6. Thank you. My story is somewhat similar. Lentigo Maligna Melanoma in-situ. Left cheek as mentioned. I got the large pepperoni. The PS will start discussing next step options at the end of January. My graft is a partial, or split thickness graft taken from my thigh where I believe yours is a full thickness from your collarbone area. I don't know if that would change any recommendations relative to massage. I am going to do some around the rim of the crater which I feel getting tighter, and I will call his office Monday to ask some additional questions. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, my first significant foray in public, and in this case at the in-laws around a lot of family who are not aware of this. Just a little apprehensive... Happy Turkey day.

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    1. Good point about the split thickness and full thickness. Happy Thanksgiving, and you'll probably educate many people today about the importance of getting skin screenings.

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    2. Checking back-in: My first two comments are those posted above this, with my surgeries on Halloween and Nov 1st 2013. Now - one year later my left cheek scar will just fit under a 1.5” x 1.5” silicone scar sheet which I continue to use quite often. I have read your more recent posts, can certainly relate, but also have a slightly different perspective. Knowing what I know now, I do not understand how my dermatologist of the preceding 10 plus years largely ignored my lentigo Maligna for so long and how important a 2nd opinion might have been. I have read that doctors have a difficult decision between recommending a scaring surgery before the development of Melanoma and being faced with something potentially much larger if waiting. It reads as though your Dr. wanted to take a more aggressive approach, where mine wanted to let it be as long as possible. In both cases, we may each have been able to make different decisions if we had been informed about what could develop in the future. If I had been told 10 years ago this area would likely become a melanoma, I would have asked what we could do to deal with it at that time. In my case that would have been a much smaller Mohs, or, I don’t know if radiation would have been an option (there is some reference to this on-line). The delay in my case resulted in a much larger area needing to be removed and resulting graft scar. My Plastic surgeon also chose to use a split thickness, or partial graft instead of a full thickness graft as you had. While the donor site on my leg is completely healed and almost invisible, the graft location on my face largely took to the contour of what was there following the Mohs. As mentioned in the early comments, neither of my surgeon’s offices ever mentioned anything about massage or working on the graft location to improve the smoothness or contour. I saw an Aesthetician several times for laser treatments and she did recommend massage, but for the most part this thinking and recommendation has come from the sites like yours and the on-line community. Thinking of your situation, I do not know if a Mohs surgeon will perform preemptive surgery to remove a lentigo maligna or other pre-cancerous area, and if so, whether your result would have been much different surgically at the time, or years later, aesthetically. I think we both would have liked to have been better informed at the time, and given more of an opportunity to participate in choosing the path. I might change some parts of the story if I could, but here we are. It is that time of year, I have very much to be thankful for, and to look forward to! Happy Holidays!

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