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5 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

 You probably already know that sunscreen, protective clothing, and staying out of the sun when it’s at its hottest are your best defenses against deadly skin cancers. But considering that 40-50% of Americans will develop some type of skin cancer during their lifetime, you may want to step up your game a bit more. This is where the following five strategies come into play. None of these should be used as a replacement for sunscreen or protective clothing, but they’re steps you can take that offer you more protection.
 
 
1. Be Wary of Windows

You might assume that the windows in your home and car effectively block ultraviolet light, but this is not the case. While your car’s windshield deflects both UVA and UVB rays, its side window will only repel UVB light. UVA won’t burn your skin, but it can still cause cancer. When it comes to homes, most windows only block UVB light – or no ultraviolet light at all.

To protect yourself, you don’t have to hide in the basement when the sun is out; just don’t lounge in direct light shining through your windows or skylight during the middle of the day. Furthermore, if you drive a lot, consider a UV filter for your driver’s side window.

2. Go Easy on Alcohol

Alcohol seems to increase the impact of UV rays on the skin. So, what about drinking inside? More research is needed, but a 2016 study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention suggests that you should still be cautious about drinking indoors. The study found that every daily drink a person consumes increases the risk of melanoma by 14%, and white wine is particularly troublesome. It’s believed that alcohol somehow interferes with the DNA-repair process in your skin.

 3. Be Mindful of These Meds

Some prescription medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays, increasing your risk of skin cancer. Some drugs to watch out for include the antibiotic doxycycline (Oracea, Monodox); a class of diuretics known as thiazides (Lozol, Microzide, Zaroxolyn); and the antifungal drug voriconazole (VFend).

 

4. Drink More Coffee

Several studies have linked daily coffee consumption to lower rates of non-melanoma skin cancer. The author of the study suggests that caffeine may block the kind of cell division and DNA synthesis that leads to skin cancer. However, it’s imperative that you don’t load your cup of coffee with sugar or other additives that will compromise coffee’s health benefits.

5. Eat More Garlic

If your immune system is weak or compromised, you have a higher risk of skin cancer, according to a 2011 study from the British Journal of Dermatology. The reason for this is that when your immune system is weakened, it does not have the power to kill cancer cells in their earliest stages.

If you get sick often, that’s a sign that your immune system may not be in top shape. Therefore, along with exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, you should add more garlic to your diet.

Source: prevention
Images: depositphotos

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