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Research Paper

  1. 1. The Integumentary System:<br />The Symptoms of Skin Cancer<br />A Research Paper by: Harrison Lee <br />Science A/B<br />The Human Body Projects<br />Our skin, the largest organ in your body protects you from many injuries and dangers, but because of your skin you can also be diagnosed with skin cancer, a disease that about 1 million people are diagnosed with every year. Skin cancer can be extremely deadly if not treated early, and even fatal.<br />Your skin, the reason why skin cancer is possible, is made of three layers of tissue, the epidermis, dermis, and fatty layer. The epidermis is the thin outer layer of the skin, the hairs, sweat pores, and epidermal surface is located in the epidermis. The next layer is the dermis, where most of the parts of your skin reside, like oil glands, sweat glands, blood vessels, and hair follicles. Finally the last layer of skin is the fatty layer. The fatty layer is just a layer of fat that builds up when the person gains weight. But it also gives you warmth on cold wintery days. <br />Skin cancer occurs when cancerous cells starts to form in the tissues of your skin due to UV. It starts in the epidermis of your skin from three types of cancer cells. Squamous cells, the cells that form in the top layer of your skin. Basal cells, the cells that look round that form underneath the sqamous cells. Melanomas, are cells that look black or brown. These cells are bad for you but thankfully something in your body guards you from it, melanin.<br />Melanin is the pigment in your skin that protects you from UV rays from the sun. People produce various amounts of melanin varying on where they live. People receiving lots of UV exposure produce large amounts of melanin causing darker skin. People receiving small amounts of UV exposure produce less amounts of melanin causing lighter skin. People with light skin and smaller amounts of melanin are more vulnerable to UV rays, which makes you vulnerable to skin cancer.<br />UV rays are powerful rays in sunlight that causes skin cancer. UV rays are also known as ultra-violet rays. UV rays are good when exposed to for a little bit because UV rays contain Vitamin D, a vitamin that helps us grow in our bones, being able to help our nervous system work, and many more. But too much UV exposure causes skin cancer, a weak cancer, but just as deadly as any other cancer in this world. <br />In order to prevent skin cancer, you must check yourself and family with many symptoms of skin cancer that include, ulcers, discolored skin, and the changing of mole sizes and shape. So to make this a bit more interesting, I looked at one of my family members in the most visible areas. Thankfully, there were none of these symptoms. But there are moles, but because the size and shape are not changing, it is not a symptom of skin cancer. Also, if you were wondering what ulcers were, they would be pretty obvious, and visible. They are parts of your skin that have just completely fallen off or also just a hole in your skin.<br />People who have skin cancer or treated by skin specialists, or also known as dermatologists. Dermatologists are people who study the skin for medical purposes. In order to receive clinical diagnosis, a dermatologist is your friend. Dermatologists use tools like a dermatoscope to inspect areas of your skin for any skin abnormalities and warn you beforehand. But there are still many cases in which prevention is no longer available, and only cure is.<br />In order to treat skin cancer in many cases when it has already grown, surgery is usually the key to the cure. They cut the part of skin with skin cancer infected in it off and replace it with skin from another part of your body, skin grafts. Replacing the cut-off area with a skin graft allows that area of the skin to restore its health after receiving the help from the skin graft which gives that part of the skin its nutrients to grow back its own nutrients. Doing this surgery is the cure for skin cancer, if a cure is available.<br />Due to this reason that cure can sometimes not be available. It is better to prevent rather then to cure because in many cases, people die from skin cancer if it is not treated quickly or well. So in order to prevent skin cancer, you must reduce the amount of UV exposure that you receive. The following paragraph will explain on what you must do, to reduce the risk of skin cancer, a disease better to avoid.<br />In order to prevent skin cancer, it is suggested that people should, stop smoking tobacco, avoid exposure to the sun usually about 10AM-3PM or whenever the sun is directly above you. But if you must go out, then the best suggestion would be to wear clothing that covers most areas of your body, and applying sunscreen that protects you from UV exposure. Girls especially should avoid using artificial tanning machines and also avoid getting tanned regularly for too long. These simple choices will be able to thoroughly help you through life with having healthy skin.<br />So in conclusion, skin cancer is in fact a hazardous disease that occurs on your responsibility and whether or not you care about your body’s skin. Skin cancer can be cured but not always. So take care in protecting your skin and always be aware of skin cancer. Your skin may be something that you like to have stylish or have tanned but every reward comes with a cost. This time the cost of receiving UV exposure is receiving skin cancer. True beauty of skin is having a healthy great skin. Thank you for reading my research paper on skin cancer. I hope that you can also take this article in use of protecting your own skin.<br />Bibliography<br />The Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1991.<br />The Mosby Medical Encyclopedia. New York: C.V. Mosby Company, 1985.<br />Human Body Systems. New York: Mcgraw Hill Glencoe, 2008. Print.<br />Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 20 Feb. 2010. <br /><br />Special Thanks to:<br />My mother for being a great nurse and mom that helped me on supplying me with her books and knowledge.<br />