Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning melanoma and the Mediterranean diet.
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Narrator: The skin is the largest part of the body. It provides a neat barrier between us powerful bacteria, viruses, and substances but it seems there is only so much sunlight this natural matter can tolerate. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of people die form melanoma per year. It’s the least common if the skin cancers but the most deadly. Experts are at a lost as to why melanoma is on the rise. The number of cases has more than doubled since 1973. Sara Hiom: The main damage is done in those early years after that 20, so we need to be able to get these messages across about how important it is to look after your skins now while you’re young for later risking skin cancer. Narrator: The median age of melanoma sufferers is between 45 and 55. But melanoma is becoming increasingly more common in the 20 to 30 year age group. If you are fair-skinned, you need to take extra precautions. Keep covered up at the beach and be sure to wear 30 plus suns protection facto cream even under your clothes. Some fabrics let UV rays through wear a broad brimmed hat and only go in the sun in the early morning and let afternoon. Dr. Bruce Armstrong. There is no such thing as safe sun exposure. Narrator: Early detection is the key to survival. Look for moles that have changed in size, shape, color, or texture and get an annual skin scan. These are free in some countries. If you detect melanoma early, you may only need a simple operation to get it removed. You might catch it before it spread deeply to other parts of the body. Remember to cover up in the sun. When we think of the Mediterranean images of the sun, sea, and wonderful food and beverages come flooding into the mind, dreaming or sitting on some little portico, dining in world class cuisine. These are reasons why Mediterranean people are laid back and carefree. It’s because they are healthy and happy. Experts agree their diet is one of the most beneficial in the world. The Mayo Clinic characterizes the Mediterranean way of eating as being plant-based high in n-3 fatty acids and rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. John Henderson: I definitely eat a lot more vegetables, a lot more fresh foods, a lot more salads. I think the climate not today, but the climate certainly encourages you to eat a lot more vegetables, a lot more salads and things like that. So yeah, I certainly feel a lot better in what I eat for sure. Narrator: N-3 essential fatty acids are known by most of us as Omega-3. They are celled essential because that’s exactly what they are. This group of nine lipids are found in fish, are great for the immune system, cardiovascular health and brain function. Mediterranean being blissfully situated near the sea gets their fish share of these. Keep it fresh, off the seafood have less of the red meat and substitute olive oil for dairy and you’ll be well on your way to health Mediterranean style. Even if you have dark skin, it’s wise to wear sun protection. Bob Marley died of melanoma in 1981.