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Skin Cancer
Chelsi Taff
A&P
ITT Technical Institute

Skin Cancer
Today’s world is plagued by a horrible disease called Cancer. There are over 200 different types ‘of cancers and it can develop in any organ in the body. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. It’s estimated that 40 to 50 of Americans who live past the age of 65 will develop skin cancer at least one time throughout their life (National Human Genome Institute, Oct 2012). There are many different types of skin cancer that can develop; three of the most common types are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and the most dangerous skin cancer, Melanoma.

Cancer begins when genes within a cell mutate and become abnormal. A combination of sun exposure and genetics generally cause skin cancer. Anyone is susceptible to skin cancer but it is more common in people who have light colored skin, hair and eyes, spend an excessive amount of time in the sun, are over the age of 50 and have had a family member with skin cancer. Cancer genes can be passed germ-line from parent to child, but the environmental factor of excessive sun exposure puts you at a greater risk for developing skin cancer.

There are many genetic mutations that can happen that put you in a greater risk for skin cancer, some are inherited and some are environmental. The most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma is inherited through genes, whereas cancers like basal and squamous cell carcinomas develop from more environmental factors. The CDKN2A mutation is a major cause of inherited melanoma. This mutation is relatively noticeable at a young age with a large number of irregularly shaped moles. The MCIR gene also will put you at a greater risk for developing melanoma. It determines if you red hair, fair skin and a sensitivity to UV radiation (sunlight). Recent studies have shown that some other genes related to skin pigment including TYR, TYRP1 and ASIP greater your risk on developing...
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