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Can Fat Reduction Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk?

Current estimates from the American Academy of Dermatology are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Your risk of developing skin cancer is determined by a combination of where you live, who you are and what you like to do. Exposure to natural and artificial ultraviolet (UV) light is a risk factor for all types of skin cancer. Avoiding this risk factor alone could prevent more than 3 million cases of skin cancer every year. More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.

If you reside in Colorado, where our altitude is a mile above sea level and sunlight is almost constant, UV exposure is a year-round concern. At higher altitudes the atmosphere is thinner and therefore absorbs less UV radiation. Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays that make it 1655409_10152323854955589_5071796809944186618_othrough the ozone layer and to the earth’s surface. Protecting yourself from UV rays with sunscreen, covering up exposed skin with protective clothing and wide brimmed hats, and avoiding sun exposure during peak hours is your first line of defense. Keeping track of your moles through self skin screenings and with annual skin checks are the next steps in prevention and early detection.

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Both of these methods to prevent and protect from skin cancer have to do with what is happening at the skin’s surface. Researchers now believe that what is underneath the surface of your skin is also a factor.  A recent study from Rutgers University suggests that there could be a link between fat reduction and reduced skin cancer risk. While working with obese mice, researchers  found that after they removed the abdominal fat, they had a “75 to 80 percent less risk of developing UV induced skin cancers.”

We have known for sometime that maintaining a healthy weight better equips your immune system to fight off cancers. ” Obesity is associated with increased risks of cancers of the esophagus, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon and rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and possibly other cancer types.”National Cancer Institute.

Several possible mechanisms have been suggested to explain the relationship between obesity and an increased risk of certain cancers:

  • Fat tissue produces more estrogen than the body needs. High levels of estrogen have been linked to an increase risk of breast, endometrial, and other cancers.
  • Obese people often have elevated levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in their blood which could lead to tumor development.
  • Fat cells produce hormones, called adipokines, that may stimulate or inhibit cell growth.
  • Obese people often have chronic low-level, or “subacute,” inflammation, which is associated with increased cancer risk.

Even though scientists understand that fat  tissue may play a role in tumor formation, there has been little research on how a diet high in fat increases the risk of skin cancer.  The Rutgers study on mice suggests that the removal of abdominal fat has a significant impact on the risk of developing skin cancer, but no human studies have been conducted to prove the same is true for us. While it is widely accepted that decreased calorie-intake, low-fat diets and physical exercise are recommended for treating obesity and lowering cancer risk, preventing cancer by surgically removing tissue fat through liposuction still needs to be explored.

A balanced, low-fat diet and physical exercise are still recommended to help reduce your fat and your risk for potential health problems, including cancers. At the Asarch Center, we offer Nutritional Counseling and Weight Management Services in addition to fat reduction therapies.

Brand New at Asarch Center:  Vanquish Fat Reduction Device for Thighs!

Vanquish™ is the first non-surgical device to melt away unwanted fat deposits around the mid-section and thighs that approaches liposuction results with no discomfort, incisions or down time.

The Asarch Center was the first medical office in Colorado to provide Vanquish for the mid-section and is the first to offer a fat reduction device designed specifically to target the thighs.

We will be the first in Colorado to offer the brand-new Flex applicator for the well-known noninvasive fat reduction device Vanquish. Vanquish uses radiofrequency energy to target and destroy fat cells, bringing about a reduction in waist circumference. The new Flex applicator allows for this proven technology to target the thighs, reducing saddlebags and slimming the entire circumference of the thigh in a painless and comfortable procedure.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to offer this innovative new technology at our practice,” said Dr. Richard Asarch.  “To have a non-invasive alternative for treating saddlebags and thighs is a major advancement.”

The Flex applicator has had great success in Europe. It can be used on both the outer and inner thighs, providing full circumferential fat reduction and smoothing. Stubborn deposits of fat on the outer thighs, often called saddlebags, can be reduced, and the entire thigh can be smoothed and tightened, resulting in a younger, thinner thigh.  The Flex applicator can help people with these fatty areas who are hesitant to try more invasive methods of removal, such as surgery or liposuction.

Vanquish is a completely noninvasive fat reduction procedure and patients can relax with the comfortable applicator positioned around the thigh. The procedure takes only four 30-40 minutes sessions over four weeks.

If you would like more information about Vanquish, please contact us at 303-761-7797.


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