Skin Cancer

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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Skin Cancer is one of the easiest cancers to cope with, but it is not some thing you would want to fool around with. Skin Cancer caused when the UV rays shine on your skin. When the sun meets up with your skin, your skin burns. Fortunately humans have melanocytes which produce melanin pigment in reaction to the sun. When the sun has been shining for a long time on your skin, your melanocytes over produce the pigment, which causes freckles. When the freckle gets more sunlight it will expand causing a small tumor. There are four stages of Skin cancer. The first stage is the growth of a mole or freckle on the top of the skin. The second stage indicates that the growth has gone deeper, but not spread to anywhere else in the body. The third stage is when the melanoma has spread to a nearby lymph basin or other nearby tissues.

The final stage is when melanoma has spread other more distant areas of the body. In skin cancer, Stage 1 will usually be spotted early and all it will need is a quick surgery. If it is not spotted, the cancer can move on to another stage causing multiple dysfunctions. If you contract skin cancer, you will probably be recovered by surgery. If the cancer is not found though, it will progress into higher stages and a higher risk of death. If you are not cured, there are three basic treatments to cure it. They are chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can affect cancer cells all over the body or it can be applied using localized techniques called infusion. Immunotherapy is used to help the immune system fight off the cancer cells.

Scientists predict that in the year 2001, 1 in every 90 people will have malignant melanoma. Scientists think this because of the diminishing O-zone. People that are most at risk are ones with a high number of moles, have red hair, blue eyes, or freckles. Also if you have a history of cancer in the family. Some people think that a tan is a sign of health. Those people are wrong. A tan is caused when the skin is burned by UV radiation. When the sun damages cells, melanin rushes to the surface to give protection. As you build up a tan, your skin is darkening on top of damaged cells.

Last year there were approximately 37,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed in the U.S alone. And it is increasing at 4.3% per year. Which makes skin cancer one of the fastest growing cancers in America. You probably think that living away from the beach you are immune to this cancer, you are wrong. You are more likely to get cancer by getting burned once a week at the beach than living on the sand. So put on your lotion and be conscious about your health.