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Melanoma Case Study

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Made for an exercise case study in Biological Science

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Melanoma Case Study

  1. 1. Central Problem:Is Melanoma indeed an oldPerson’s Disease?Sub-Problems:•What is Melanoma?•Causes of Melanoma•Risk Factors of Melanoma•Identification and Prevention ofMelanoma
  2. 2. Observations• 20-year-old, Judy• Fair-haired and fair-skinned• She spends hours in the sun• She always gets sunburn.• Mariah, her friend who hasblack hair, seems to be able toget suntan effortlessly.• She noticed a mole on her legthat looks weird and keeps onitching.
  3. 3. What do we know?• Melanoma is a type of SkinCancer and is a malignanttumor of the skin.• UV light from sun cancause mutations in DNA.• DNA mutations over manyyears can cause certain cellcycle genes called “Proto-oncogenes” to becomesuper-active.
  4. 4. What do we know?• Not all tumors areconsidered cancerous andlife threatening.• Getting tumor suppressorgene with one good copyand one mutated copy cancause cancer if the goodcopy is also mutated someother time during our life.
  5. 5. What do we need to know?• Symptoms of Melanoma• Causes of Melanoma• Dangers of Melanoma• Prevention
  6. 6. Definition of Terms1. Melanoma- a malignant tumor of the melanocytes2. Dysplastic Nevis- a mole whose appearance is differentfrom that of common moles. Dysplastic nevi are generallylarger than ordinary moles and have irregular andindistinct borders.3. Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells located in thebottom layer (the stratum basale) of the skins epidermis4. Melanin- a pigment produced by the Melanocytes whichgives skin its color and also acts as a sunscreen to protectagainst ultraviolet radiation.5. Cancer- known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is alarge group of different diseases, all involving unregulatedcell growth.
  7. 7. Definition of Terms6. Ultraviolet Rays-are invisible rays that are part of theenergy that comes from the sun.7. Sunburn is a burn to living tissue, such as skin, which isproduced by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV)radiation, commonly from the suns rays.8. Tumor- also called as neoplasm, means that cells havedivided and piled up on one another in a single mass.Maybe a benign tumor or malignant tumor.9. Malignancy- is the tendency of a medical condition,especially tumors, to become progressively worse andto potentially result in death.10. Tan- is a pale, tawny shade of brown.
  8. 8. • It begins with theMelanocytes found inthe epidermis whosefunction is to produceMelanin which protectsthe skin from UV rays.• When the DNA of theMelanocyte is damagedand sustain geneticdamage, the cells maynot grow and divideproperly, they can begingrowing out of control.•The deadliest Skin Cancer.•No longer consider an OldPerson’s Disease.
  9. 9. CAUSES OF MELANOMA
  10. 10. Causes of Melanoma• Exposure to Ultraviolet Rays from natural(Sunlight) or artificial (tanning beds) sources.• Genetic Factors:– abnormal moles (dysplastic nevi)– Family History of Melanoma
  11. 11. RISK FACTORS OFMELANOMA
  12. 12. Risk Factors of Melanoma• People with Fair Skin and Light hair– Light-skinned people have lessmelanin and are thus at more risk fordamage from sun exposure thandarker-skinned people, who havemore melanin.• Sunburns– Every time you burn your skin, youincrease your risk of developingmelanoma and other skin cancers
  13. 13. Risk Factors of Melanoma• Using Tanning Beds– Occasionally using tanning Beds can triple the chancesof getting Melanoma.• Diagnosis of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Before– People who had other kinds of skin cancer are at ahigher risk.
  14. 14. IDENTIFICATION ANDPREVENTION OF MELANOMA
  15. 15. Identifying Melanoma• Remember the A-B-C-D-E Rule:A. Asymmetry: one half of themole/lesion doesn’t match theother half.B. Border: edges of the mole/lesionare ragged, blotched, or blurred.C. Color: the color of themole/lesion is not uniform.D. Diameter: the mole/lesion isgreater than 6 mm wide.E. Evolving Lesion: any mole orlesion that has evolved, orchanged, is cause to see adermatologist.
  16. 16. Prevention and Sun Safety• Generally apply sunscreen to allexposed skin.– Even on cloudy days and re-applysunscreen every two hours• Wear Protective clothing– Such as pants, long sleeved shirts,wide brimmed hat and sunglasseswhen you know that you’ll beexposed to sunlight.• Seek Shade– Remember that the sun’s rays arestrongest between 10am and 4pm.
  17. 17. Prevention and Sun Safety• Do not Burn your Skin– Severe sunburns specially duringchildhood, increase risks ofdeveloping melanoma and otherskin cancer.• Avoid intentional tanning andindoor tanning beds– Current research indicates there isno way to get a tan throughultraviolet exposure withoutincreasing the risk for skin cancer.
  18. 18. Conclusion• Since Judy is a white-skinnedand red-haired person, unlikeMariah who has black hair,she has less melanin that willcause her to become moreprone to skin cancer.• The mole that appeared onher leg that looks weirdmaybe a symptom ofMelanoma.
  19. 19. Conclusion• It is also possible that Judyinherited one mutated copy ofTumor suppressor gene andbecause of lying under the sunher good copy of the gene mighthave been mutated too and thatmight cause why she canpossibly have Melanoma.• Therefore Judy shouldimmediately be diagnosed forearly detection and a betteroutcome.
  20. 20. Conclusion• Melanoma is not necessarily an old person’s disease,research shows that the increase may be partly relatedto ultraviolet (UV) sun exposure during childhood.
  21. 21. Conclusion• Melanoma is the most dangerous of all the skin cancers. Itaffects all ages and undetected melanoma can grow downwardinto the skin until it reaches the blood vessels and lymphaticsystem.• These two systems can act like a highway for the cancer cells,allowing them easy access to distant organs like the lungs orthe brain. Thats why early detection is so important.
  22. 22. References/Sources• Title: Protecting yourself against the DeadliestSkin Cancer: Melanoma– By: Joel Wiszniak, MD– http://www.lef.org• Title: Melanoma Risk Factors– By: Melanoma Research foundation– http://www.melanoma.org
  23. 23. References/Sources• Title: Melanoma– By: KidsHealth Editorial Staff– http://kidshealth.org• Other sources:– Wikipedia– Web definitions– Merriam Webster Dictionary

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