Skin Cancer Prevention Tips from Dr Mitch Gaynor

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips from Dr Mitch Gaynor – skin cancer prevention tips from an Oakland County Moms interview with Dr. Mitch Gaynor.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – We’ve all heard to stay out of the sun. What are some other skin cancer prevention tips?

Dr. Mitch Gaynor – Well, I think if you’re going to be in the sun, people don’t have to stay out completely because you want to have some sun. The reason is because Vitamin D3 is a critically important nutrient against getting all types of cancer. It’s very important for our immune systems. So you need some sun to convert D to D3. But, people should be using sunblock… at least a 30 SPF. People should definitely avoid sunburns, especially for children – that is very important because we know the intensity and the number of sunburns you get as a child is associated with increased melanoma later in life. If you have a family history, early detection is critically important, so people with family histories should see a dermatologist twice a year. Everybody in adulthood should start seeing a dermatologist once a year to have their moles mapped.

How diet, nutrition and foods can help prevent skin cancer

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – How can diet and nutrition aid skin cancer prevention?

Dr. Mitch Gaynor – One thing a lot of people don’t realize that’s important is nutrition. There are a number of nutritional things people can do to lower the risk of melanoma. First is to consume a lot of carotenoid rich foods. Carotenoids are very, very important at limiting DNA damage from ultraviolet radiation from the sun. And, these include foods like spinach, kale, yams, carrots… if those aren’t the kinds of foods you’re eating regulary, juicing is a very good way for getting those in….There are also very important nutrients in beets…it helps protect DNA. We talked about Vitamin D earlier – it’s very important that people know their Vitamin D level. A doctor can do the blood test. Many people need a Vitamin D supplement because they’re not getting enough, or they’re not absorbing it well from the diet…It’s so important…Even if you eat a perfect diet for D, like salmon, cottage cheese, and dairy, about the most you can get daily is about 350 units of D3. The least you need is 1,000-2,000 units….The other thing is to consume a lot of anti-inflammatory foods. The reason is inflammation promotes cancer; it causes dormant cancer cells to become active. Anti-inflammatory foods include fish oil, Omega 3’s like cold deep water fish, salmon, haddock, cod…Also, you can get Omega 3’s plant based from flax seed, pumpkin seed, chia seed have a lot of good Omega 3’s in them. There’s an algae form you can get…for those who don’t want to eat fish, you can get it that way also. Also, turmeric. turmeric is what gives curry its yellow color. A huge anti-inflammatory. It also helps dormant cancer cells from becoming active. And, then the berries are very important also, specifically black raspberries and blueberries. They’re very important against skin cancer and other types of cancer. And they also help boost the part of the immune system that fights cancer.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – What should we look for or be concerned about with moles or marks on our own skin that could possibly be skin cancer?

Dr. Mitch Gaynor – The most important things are any new moles. So, if you notice a mole and you think “You know, I never noticed that was there before…”, definitely get that checked out by a dermatologist. If you notice any mole on the palms of your hand or the soles of your feet, that should be checked out by a dermatologist. If you notice any mole that’s become raised or starts to bleed or looks a little darker or more irregular, you should go in and have that checked out by a dermatologist as well.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – If you have no history of melanoma in the family, how often should the average person have a doctor check their skin for Melanoma?

Dr. Mitch Gaynor – Once a year without a family history.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Are there any new medications or advancements to aid in skin cancer prevention or the treatment of skin cancer / Melanoma?

Dr. Mitch Gaynor – Yes, I just published a paper last month in a journal called Cancer Strategies and it was a case report using a treatment regimen I developed using immune therapies and combining that with very, very low doses of regular doses of oral chemotherapy; that’s called metronomic therapy….That’s been shown to drive active cancer cells back to dormancy. And, then certain nutritional therapies that also help cancer cells regain the ability to do something they had lost, and that’s to die when they get old. Cancer cells just keep dividing. So, this particular patient had widely metastatic melanoma, was sent to hospice by another institution, and she’s been in continuous, complete remission for almost three years now….The biggest drugs are called PD1 inhibitors help the body’s own immune system kill the cancer because cancer cells are able to elicit molecules that block the body’s immune system from working. What these drugs do is a blocking agent. So, it allows the patient’s own immune system to get strong enough to be able to kill the cancer and that has been studied mostly in melanoma, but in a number of other cancers as well so that’s going to be really a huge revolution in cancer therapy.

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor has appeared on Dr. Oz and Martha Stewart Living. He is an assistant attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Medical College. He is also founder and president of Gaynor Integrative Oncology, where he practices an integrative team approach to oncology using the best of allopathic and eastern medicine to develop the best treatment plan for each patient. Websites: and

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