Alongside effectively treating skin cancer, good care focuses on aesthetic outcome, rather than “answers” which wreak havoc with your skin.
As we have seen during the coronavirus pandemic, fatal diseases bring unfounded claims on cures. This has long been the case with all types of cancer, which can understandably cause desperation.
With skin cancer relatively common, a fair share of bogus ideas are on offer. They range from in a sense harmless diet changes, to more dangerous substances, such as black salve, also known as bloodroot.
As this list on Wikipedia shows, there are in reality hundreds of proposed, unproven cancer treatments. A proportion could cause serious damage to your skin and they all share one significant problem, delaying genuine treatment.
Early intervention in skin cancer brings significant advantages. For melanoma, this can mean the difference between life and death, in almost all cases, treatment is lessened.
Unviable solutions can also bring psychological downsides, treatment has failed, resolve is reduced. Our stance on all treatment can be altered, the physical repercussions of depression could reduce our ability to recover.
Focusing On Evidence
A belief that alternative medicine can cure cancer is far from rare, yet a study from Yale University found that people who choose alternative therapies are twice as likely to die as those who opted for conventional treatment.
Detailed research is the foundation of skin cancer treatment you receive in a medical clinic. Even the “rushed” trials of Covid-19 vaccines were still extensive, those for most medicines carry on far longer.
These treatments continue to be evaluated, detailed studies on use and effectiveness take place after they are certified by national authorities. The depth of knowledge built up on benefits, or side effects is often remarkable.
Comparatively, advertising products as “natural”, or incorrectly calling them dietary supplements has no scientific meaning. Just a danger that such misinformation can damage public understanding of science and medicine.
Downsides Of The Web
As much as internet use has broadened knowledge, some aspects have created bubbles of misinformation, which patients are exposed to. This can be well meaning in principle, although there is an equal amount of exploitation.
Alongside the snake oil, there is an opportunity to try the latest approach to skin cancer diagnosis, artificial intelligence based apps.
The use of AI in dermatology is not new and valuable at times, generally to support the skills of consultants. A number of skin cancer detection apps seek to replace these skills with an instant diagnosis.
Several versions are poor, whilst a few are quite capable but not reliable. A recent study of more efficient apps still found that 12% of patients with cancerous or precancerous moles would be missed, while 21% of positive diagnoses would be wrong.
As evidence published in the British Medical Journal stated, the current regulatory process for these apps “does not provide adequate protection to the public”.
Many non medical skin cancer cures hold immediate risks and above all, will not offer a solution. Neither will using apps bring certainty, when false reassurance is quite possible, or unwanted concern.
We completely understand the temptation to look at anything that could offer a cure but there are reasons for the medical profession following proven routes. They are designed to be patient friendly and effective.
The latest developments in medicine have taken skin cancer treatment to a point where all types can be cured, particularly with early diagnosis. Please see a specialist if you have any concerns about your skin.