Your immune status
Answer: A lot
Within the last twenty years we have learned that the immune system plays an important role in preventing skin cancer. This has been seen through increased numbers of skin cancers showing up in people who require immunosuppressive treatment after transplantations of bone marrow and organs as well as those with AIDS.
What causes cancer?
There are basically three steps that take place in the body, eventually causing cancer:
- The DNA of a cell is damaged or altered in a way which causes it to produce abnormal proteins (e.g. through the damaging rays of the sun).
- This cell breaks away and does not adhere to growth restraints imposed on a normal cell. It then reproduces, passing on the damaged DNA
- The body’s immune system does not catch these out-of-control cells
When reviewing this list it is obvious that a weak immune system can contribute to the formation of cancer by letting rogue cells through the meshwork. It is believed that an intact and healthy immune system is confronted with cancerous cells on a regular basis and a weak immune system allows such cells to take hold and spread.