Unit 4, Case Study 4 Skin Cancer

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I have researched many different Web-cites and articles to try and determine what role genetics plays in skin cancer. Yes there are certain genetic mutations that are inherited, or passed through the germ-line, but the main cause of skin cancer is UV radiation which is an environmental genetic defect.

Many cancers begin when one or more genes in a cell are mutated, creating an abnormal protein or no protein at all. The information provided by an abnormal protein is different from that of a normal protein, which can cause cells to multiply uncontrollably and become cancerous. CDKN2A- mutations in this regulator of cell division are the most common causes of inherited melanoma. They are however still very uncommon overall and can appear in non-inherited cases. People who have this often have a large number of irregularly shaped moles and are often diagnosed at a relatively young age. The MC1R gene provides instructions for making a protein called the melanocortin 1 receptor. The receptor is primarily located on the surface of melanocytes, which are specialized cells that produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin is the substance that gives skin, hair and eyes their color. Melanocytes makes two forms of melanin, Eumelanin and Pheomelanin. The amounts of these two pigments help determine the hair color and skin usually the more Eumelanin the darker the hair and skin, also will tan easily. It also protects the skin from UV radiation in the sunlight. The more Pheomelanin the hair is red or blonde, freckles, and light skin that tans poorly, because it does not protect the skin. Which puts them at risk for skin cancer. Many changes in the MC1R gene increase the risk of developing skin cancer, including a common, serious form of skin cancer that begins in melomcytes. Skin damage caused by UV radiation from the sun is a major risk factor for developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

These gene mutations germ-lines are passed from...
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