Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Curcumin for Skin Cancer

For the past several days I have been writing about curcumin as a a nutritional supplement for supporting recovery from several forms of cancer. The most common form of curcumin used in cancer treatment, however, is a curcumin creams used to treat skin cancer.

 If you have ever had an advanced basal cell carcinoma, you probably had the experience of itching skin all the time. Basal cell carcinomas itch and ooze and ache. They may bleed incessantly. The flow of blood from a basal cell carcinoma is similar to a pin prick, but it can make an unsightly drip across your face and it can stain clothes and bed linens.

I'm not going to tell anyone not to get basal cell carcinoma or any other form of cancer treated by a doctor. It is important to get the medical care you need in a timely fashion to cure the cancer. This is especially true of melanoma, which is almost always curable when treated before it metastisizes to other locations in the body but extremely hard to treat once it has spread from the skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma can also become aggressive. Even basal cell carcinoma can spread through the body if the immune system is weakened by chronic viral infection or radiation or chemotherapy for another form of cancer.

One clinical study tested a 1% curcumin cream as a skin remedy for actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, and external genital warts in 62 volunteers. In about 70% of cases the curcumin cream stopped any oozing and itching. It usually reduced skin pain. There was one person in the trial who turned out to be allergic to curcumin, so it is probably a good idea to do a test patch to make sure there are no allergies to the product first. (Just put a dab of the cream on the underside of your forearm and wait 24 hours, without washing your arm, to see whether you break out.)

Curcumin cream is cheap and it works. It is not a substitute for medical care but it may be very helpful while you are waiting to see the dermatologist to get your skin lesion removed. You could make your own curcumin cream by mixing 1 part of turmeric to 2 parts of coconut oil, keeping the mixture at room temperature and applying once or twice a day as needed. (It's not a bad idea to keep coconut oil around for other uses.)

It is a lot easier, however, simply to buy Xymogen or Clear Face Turmeric Cream and apply as directed. Curcumin isn't a miracle cure for skin cancer. In fact, it is not a cure for skin cancer at all. If you have to deal with the night-and-day itching of "benign" skin cancer, however, curcumin probably will offer you real relief.

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