Not Just an Old Person’s Disease
Anatomy & Physiology I
Judy is more “at risk” for skin cancer than Mariah, because Judy’s skin is pasty-white, she has been in the sun for thirty minutes and is already turning red. Judy also has a mole on the back of her leg that has changed in size, shape and color, and has been itching for several days. The fact that Judy is fair skinned with red hair puts her at an increased risk for developing melanoma, or skin cancer, because light skin means the body makes less melanin, which our body produces in order to protect our body from ultraviolet radiation from penetrating into the deep skin layers and damaging them, which makes our bodies tan. Since fair skinned, redheads make less melanin, they have a harder time tanning for protection, which puts them at a higher risk for skin cancer.
Judy noticed that her mole had changed in size; it had become larger. The mole also appeared different, as it had rigid edges, and the moles color had changed as well, and was darker on one edge, and had a raised, purplish black dot in the middle of it, and it was itching, where it had not before. All signs that the cells have metastasized.
Benign tumors, which are noncancerous are easier to treat than malignant cancerous tumors, because malignant tumors spread to other parts of the body, by means of metastasis. Benign tumors do not metastasize, they stay in one place, simply getting bigger, so once they are removed, you don’t have to worry about treating a recurrence either at the same site or somewhere else in the body.
Our bodies are constantly in need of new cells in order for our bodies to heal and grow, or our bodies would die. No one is for sure exactly why some people get cancer and others don’t, but some risk factors increase a person’s chances of getting melanoma, such as being light skinned to protect our bodies from ultra violet radiation, genetic family history of skin cancer, and geographic location...
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