Tea tree oil cures skin cancers

Researchers at the University of Western Australia found the oil can shrink non-melanoma skin cancers in mice in just one day and cured them within three days.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affect thousands across the world every year. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid over-exposure to sunlight.

The researchers believe tea tree oil -- which comes from the plant of melaleuca alternifolia found in New South Wales -- works by activating the body's immune response, the Daily Mail reported.

"We are very excited about these results and are hoping to find funding for a small clinical trial of about 50 people with pre-cancerous lesions, with the aim of preventing the development of skin cancers," said Dr Sara Greay, who led the study.

According to researchers, clinically approved skin cancer chemotherapies, which have long treatment times of three to 16 weeks, can cause nausea and flu-like symptoms.
However, the tea tree oil formulation found to produce a mild skin irritation which disappears within days of treatment finishing, the scientists said.

"We believe the formulation is crucial to prevent the evaporation and increase the penetration of tea tree oil through the skin," Dr Greay said.

Results from the three-year study are published online in the journal Cancer Chemotherapy Pharmacology.

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