It happens every year, right around Memorial Day (which is a little over a week away).
Just when you're getting ready to plan some fun in the sun… the nags come out in force with their tiresome warnings.
DON'T GO OUT!!!! YOU'LL GET CANCER!!!
And if you DO go out… they want you to baste yourself in so much sticky goop that you're more like a holiday turkey ready for the oven than a vacationer looking to soak up some rays.
Well, friend, I'm here today with a fact check.
Because new research reveals a MAJOR cause of skin cancer -- and it's NOT the sun!
Not directly, anyway.
It's one of the most common medications in the world – one so widely used that you or someone you love is almost certainly taking it right now.
The 'skin cancer drug'… and how to AVOID it!
Researchers are warning that the thiazide diuretic drugs given to zillions of people for hypertension can raise the odds of just about every form of skin cancer.
In seniors, the study finds these meds will increase the odds of melanoma by 60%... and non-melanoma cancers by 53%.
They've found that these drugs change how your skin reacts to sunlight -- essentially DISARMING your skin's natural defenses.
The warning applies to the entire drug class…
But the WORST of the lot is also one of the most common, a drug called hydrochlorothiazide.
Worse yet, that's often the first drug choice for treating high blood pressure.
Other studies have made this same connection… finding that these diuretics may be far more dangerous in terms of skin cancer risk than anyone realizes.
One analysis estimated that hydrochlorothiazide alone could be responsible for 1 in 10 of ALL cases of skin cancer.
The new study also finds that the longer you take the meds… the more the risk grows.
If you're on that same hydrochlorothiazide for 20 years, for example, your odds of keratinocyte carcinoma will jump by 75%.
The researchers behind the new study recommend other BP meds. But that's a cop-out.
Instead, work with your doc on getting OFF these meds for blood pressure.
As I shared with you earlier this year, BP meds are often PUSHED on folks who don't even need them!
Ask about the natural therapies proven to cut BP – starting with basic mineral supplements containing calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Adding some vitamin B6 (a.k.a. P5P) to the magnesium can help reduce excess fluid even more powerfully.
If you've already been on these diuretic drugs (especially hydrochlorothiazide) for many years… this is probably VERY alarming news.
But there is a way you may be able to REVERSE some of that skin damage… and CUT that cancer risk.
Researchers found in 2019 that vitamin A can protect against some of the most common forms of skin cancer… with the highest levels from diet cutting the risk by 17%.
You'll find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, milk, fish, liver, eggs, and poultry.
In Your Corner,
Dr. Allan Spreen