Unit 6 Case Study 1
AP2535ITT Technical Institute
Skin cancer, otherwise known as skin melanoma, has become a serious epidemic in the United States over the last several years. Approximately one in 60 people will develop some form of skin cancer in their life time. With tanning beds and extended outdoor tanning becoming more common, as well as “being tan” become the new beauty tip. However, genetics still plays a very important role in skin cancer. It has been said that people with minimal eumelanin genes, the gene that determines hair and eye color, are more susceptible to skin cancer to do their light hair, eyes and fair skin. Most skin cancer cases are caused by ultraviolet rays, however, approximately five percent of cases are inherited. The risk of melanoma is doubled in the first degree relatives of those who have had melanoma. (Stam-Posthuma JJ, Van Duinen C, Scheffer E, Vink J, Bergman W, 2001;44:22-7). The most common type of skin cancer in the United States is Basal Cell (2014 Stanford medicine) Pigments are what give your skin its color. Melanin, carotene and hemoglobin are three different types of pigment that affect your skin color. When you are in the sun the ultraviolet rays activate the melanocytes which produce melanin. The melanin is what causes your skin to tan. This helps protect your skin from damage. Melanin absorbs ultraviolet rays and prevents the rays from damaging or affecting the DNA in epidermal cells. It has also been studied that due to the ozone layer depleting over the years, your own pigment can no longer handle the strength of the ultraviolet rays, also contributing to the increase in melanoma (Ishikawa T, Kodama K, Matsumoto J, Takayama S). With all of the new information and studies available to today there is no reason to doubt the importance of wearing sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.
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