Nanoparticle Technology for Skin Cancer Treatment…Not Science Fiction!
The word nanotechnology sounds like it comes straight out of a science fiction movie like “The Matrix” or “Terminator.” Though the science of nanotech is fairly new, humans have been using nanotechnology for a very long time without even realizing it.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular level. The most basic functions of biological organisms, including humans, work on this microcosmic level…the nanometer is the tiniest particle known to man. The head of a pin is one million times larger than a nanometer!
Thousands of years ago, Eastern traditions, such as Ayurvedic medicine, were the first to use gold (one of the initial building blocks of nanotechnology) for rejuvenation and revitalization. In Western medicine, gold was used as early as the 16th century to treat rheumatoid arthritis, nervous disorders, migraines, epilepsy, impotence and alcoholism.
The History and Promising Future of Nanotechnology
In 1959, Physicist Richard Feynman theorized that things could be built to such a tiny scale that even the entire Encyclopedia Britannica could be written on the head of a pin.
In the 80s and 90s, scientists began using nanotech to create goods that improved our quality of life, such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, computer components with greater stability, and carbon nanotubes that are 6 times lighter yet 100 times stronger than steel.
One of the most promising areas utilizing nanotech is how to prevent skin cancer with nanotech. Your skin is the first line of defense against toxins and pollutants.
Breaching that barrier has proven difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, for topical moisturizers and medication. In the past, the only way to successfully treat skin cancer was to use lasers or ultrasounds to get the medicine deep enough into the skin to be effective.
Amy Paller and Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine conducted a study in which they coated gold spheres with nucleic acid and applied it to mouse skin with an over-the-counter moisturizing cream to see how well it could penetrate the skin barrier.
These nanoparticles were able to penetrate the skin and target the damaged cancerous cells without negatively affect the surrounding skin.
This groundbreaking technology could change cancer treatment globally. Current cancer therapy such as chemotherapy and radiation may work, but these invasive procedures damage the rest of the body while they kill the cancer.
Paller and her colleagues believe this nanotech delivery system will be safe and effective against tumors, inflammation of the skin and genetic skin disorders. There is still much research to be done in this groundbreaking field.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer Until Nanotechnology is Perfected
Standard medical use of nanotech is still a long way off. Extensive human trials will have to be conducted to ensure there are no long-term side effects. Of course, the best solution is to prevent skin cancer from forming, but how to prevent skin cancer?
Sunburn is the most common cause of skin cell damage. Controlling your exposure to the sun is the first and best step to protecting your skin. That doesn’t mean avoiding the sun entirely.
Despite popular belief, some exposure to sunlight is actually good for you. Spending 20 minutes, 3 times a week, in the sun stimulates your body’s production of vitamin D3, which acts as a natural sunscreen.
Boost Your Antioxidant Intake
Deterioration of your body’s skin cells is caused by oxidative stress. You must neutralize the free radicals that cause oxidation before they trigger a domino effect throughout your body. Scientists have discovered that oxidation and free radical attacks at the molecular level are the leading causes of human disease.
Antioxidants counter oxidation, neutralize free radicals and boost your body’s ability to protect itself from further damage. Naturally.
The best source of antioxidants is through your diet. Your body processes food far better than it does supplements, providing the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your required to stop free radicals from attacking your cells.
Best Dietary Antioxidants to Protect Your Skin:
- Vitamin C – citrus fruits, pineapple, berries, broccoli, low-fat yogurt
- Vitamin E – almonds, whole grains, leafy greens, avocado, berries, peaches
- Selenium – sunflower seeds, seafood, whole grains, beans
- Coenzyme Q10 – seeds, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, broccoli, spinach, apples
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid – fish, fish oils, flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, eggs
- Vitamin A – melons, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, pecans, dairy products
- Zinc – shellfish, salmon, eggs, live culture yogurt, dark chocolate
- Flavonoids/Carotenoids – green tea, dark chocolate, red wine, coffee
Moderate sun exposure, an antioxidant-rich diet that protects your skin from the inside out, no smoking, and regular exercise are the keys to healthy skin.
Stop cancer before it starts and protect your skin from the toxins and pollutants of our modern world.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to watch the growing science – not science fiction – of nanotechnology and the applications developed for skin care.