ULTRAVIOLET RAYS & DNA FACTORS THAT
INFLUENCE SKIN CANCER
BY PATRICE WILLIAMS
BSC1005 LIFE IN ITS BIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT
July 30, 2001
Ultraviolet Rays & DNA Factors that
Influence Skin Cancer
"Cancer", its a disease that has claim the lives of millions, its a disease that so far has no known cure, and its a disease that has many different forms. Cancer is defined as "a malignant form of tumors, which are tissue masses that arise through mutations in the genes that govern cell growth and division" (Starr, 1999, p. 213). Skin cancer is just one of the many forms of cancer that effects us and is the most common cancer in the U.S. Like so many others, I would assume that the major cause of skin cancer was the ultraviolet rays from the sun. However, there are other factors involved. Our DNA plays a major role in how cancer affects us, it has a major role in genetics too, therefore, environmental and heredity both are factors that assume roles in the effects of cancer. In order to understand these two factors, they must be defined and explained. If they both have major effects on the way skin cancer affects an individual, than what are some preventive measures that we need to know about each. First, skin cancer and our skin structure must be defined and explained. It is a form of cancer, which is a mutation in the genes that affect cell growth and division. "Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant cells are found in the outer layer of the skin" ( HYPERLINK "http://www.azumc.com"
). One form of skin cancer is melanoma, is the rarest but the most virulent of the skin cancers. It is responsible for 75% of all deaths from cancer. It is "a cancer that arises in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin, hair, and eyes their color and that allows us to tan" (Schofield & Robinson, 2000, p. 1). Melanocytes are located...