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  Melanoma  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | It can lead to... | Recommendations

 

Melanoma, accounting for less than 5% of skin cancers, is one of the most dangerous of all cancers and is the most rapidly increasing form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma arises from pigment cells in the skin and usually takes the form of a very dark, irregularly-colored spot or nodule . The risk of melanoma is increased with occasional, intense exposure, such as blistering sunburns, especially in childhood, rather than long-term sun exposure. Common locations for melanoma include the back and scalp in men and legs in women, areas not usually exposed extensively to the sun, and it is more common in younger individuals. Melanoma may occur by itself, or arise from a pre-melanoma mole or skin growth.

Unlike other cancers, melanoma may remain inactive for years, may even regress temporarily, and then suddenly metastasize to lymph nodes or vital organs. The tendency of melanoma to metastasize is fairly predictable and is related to the thickness rather than the size of the tumor.

In the United States, the risk of melanoma is about 15 cases for every 100,000 people, and at the time of writing there will be 40,000 new cases with about 8,000 deaths expected in the next year.

Australia has the world's highest incidence of melanoma, because of its location near the equator and population composed largely of people of Celtic extraction. The fact that melanoma occurs mainly on sites not overly sun-exposed indicates that other factors are involved.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Melanoma:
 
 
Symptoms - Nails  Black/brown fingernails
 A longitudinal brown-black streak (which may take up the whole nail and may "spill over" into the proximal nail fold) is a sign of melanoma, and possibly Hutchinson's.
 
 

Melanoma can lead to:
 
 
Risks  Cancer / Risk - General Measures
 
 

Recommendations for Melanoma:
 
 
Botanical  Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus)
 One study of patients with melanoma found that chemotherapy was less toxic when Siberian ginseng was given simultaneously.

Diet

  Gerson Cancer Treatment
 The 5-year survival rates of patients using the Gerson Therapy reported in this study are considerably higher than those reported elsewhere. Stage IIIA/B males had exceptionally high survival rates compared with those reported by other centers.

Of 14 patients with stages I and II (localized) melanoma, 100% survived for 5 years, compared with 79% of 15,798 reported by Balch. Of 17 with stage IIIA (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 82% were alive at 5 years, in contrast to 39% of 103 from Fachklinik Hornheide. Of 33 with combined stages IIIA + IIIB (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 70% lived 5 years, compared with 41% of 134 from Fachklinik Hornheide. We propose a new stage division: IVA (distant lymph, skin, and subcutaneous tissue metastases), and IVB (visceral metastases). Of 18 with stage IVA melanoma, 39% were alive at 5 years, compared with only 6% of 194 from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Survival impact was not assessed for stage IVB. Male and female survival rates were identical for stages I-IIIB, but stage IVA women had a strong survival advantage. [Altern Ther Health Med 1995 Sep;1(4): pp.29-37]

Drug

  Conventional Drugs / Information
 Doctors in Surrey, England for the previous 11 years had been maintaining melanoma patients with Clark's level IV and III disease on dipyridamole, 300mg a day. Thirty of these patients were maintained on this dose of dipyridamole. Of them, 26 had level IV disease and 4 had level III disease. At five years, the survival of the level IV patients was 74%. The five-year survival for the total of the 30 of level IV and III disease was 77%. None of the level III patients died. Reference was given that the expected five-year survival for level IV melanoma is 32%. In the case of melanoma, 100% of deaths are caused by distant metastases.[Lancet, March 23, 1985; p.693]

  Hydrazine Sulfate
 See the link between Cancer (General) and Hydrazine Sulfate.

Extract

  Beta 1,3 Glucan
 Peter Mansell, M.D., injected Beta glucan into subcutaneous nodules of malignant melanoma and biopsied the injection sites. These sites revealed activated macrophages, but no evidence of melanoma as long as the treatment continued. [J.A. Bohn & J. N. BeMiller, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research]

  Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)

Mineral

  Selenium
 Serum selenium levels were inversely related to the degree of disease severity in 200 cases of melanoma studied. As selenium has established cancer prevention effects, its use to reduce the risk of melanoma is advisable.
 
 


KEY
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Lymph Nodes:  Small, bean-shaped nodes at various points throughout the body that function to filter the lymph fluid and attempt to destroy the microorganisms and abnormal cells which collect there. The most common locations are the neck (both sides and front), armpit and groin, but also under the jaw and behind the ears. Swollen or painful lymph nodes generally result from localized or systemic infection, abscess formation, or malignancy. Other causes of enlarged lymph nodes are extremely rare. Physical examination for lymph nodes includes pressing on them to check for size, texture, warmth, tenderness and mobility. Most lymph nodes can not be felt until they become swollen, and then will only be tender when pressed or massaged. A lymph node that is painful even without touching indicates greater swelling. Lymph nodes can usually be distinguished from other growths because they generally feel small, smooth, round or oval-shaped and somewhat mobile when attempts are made to push them sideways. Because less fat covers the lymph nodes in children, they are easier to feel, even when they are not busy filtering germs or making antibodies. Children’s nodes enlarge faster, get bigger in response to an infection and stay swollen longer than an adult's.

Melanoma:  A life-threatening type of skin cancer that occurs in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin, the pigment found in skin, hair, and the iris of the eyes.

Proximal:  Nearer to a point of reference such as an origin, a point of attachment, or the midline of the body.