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The human body consists of an uncountable amount of living cells. Normal cells grow then divide into new ones, dying in the end. Cancer can appear when normal body cells begin to grow at an abnormal rate. The growth rate of cancerous cells is different from one of the normal cells because instead of dying, they continue growing to create new cells. Moreover, these abnormal cells are also able to invade other tissues within a human body, a quality that is not possible for healthy cells (American Cancer Society Melanoma Skin Cancer 1).
There are two different types of skin cancer: non-melanoma skin cancer, which is considered very common and not very serious, and the malignant melanoma that is considered serious but less common than non-melanoma cancer. Melanoma skin cancer begins in melanocytes and can appear anywhere on the skin, but the most prevalent areas are neck and face, the legs in females and chest, and back in males. Melanoma can also easily for in other parts of the body, although these cases are far less spread. Non-melanoma skin cancer, or otherwise called basal and squamous cell skin cancer, is the most common type of skin cancer. However, it rarely spreads to other parts of the body and is usually less concerning as it is treated differently to melanoma.
The Structure and Function Relationship in the Body
Skin cancer is very often considered a disease connected with the cell cycle, although it is not actually the case, as cancer cells can easily grow and divide. The actual problem is understanding why the cancerous cells grow and divide while healthy cells do not. Simply put, skin cancer is a disease closely connected with cell growth control or with the checkpoint system. Modern scientists are trying to develop a medication that will affect the checkpoint system of cancer cells, as without it, the cancer cells can die (The Theme of Regulation in the Cell Cycle, Cellular Growth, and Cancer 8).
The recent research conducted by the American Cancer Society suggested that there are two different ways UV rays cause skin cancer. The first way is connected with exposure to the sun in childhood. Such early exposure to the sun causes changes in DNA that then can cause further development of skin cancer. Some researchers speculate that this is the reason for melanoma on the legs and back, parts of the body that are not as exposed to the sun in adulthood. The second way is connected with skin cancer on the neck, face, and arms, areas often exposed to the sun in adults, especially in men. Moreover, scientists are exploring melanomas that start from UV exposure and the changes in DNA they cause in order to figure out whether they should be treated in different ways (American Cancer Society Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview 4).
The Importance of Skin Cancer Awareness
Raising awareness for skin cancer is important for two main reasons: taking some simple steps can prevent it, and at earlier stages, it is straightforward in treatment. Thus, the topic of skin cancer is important because of its danger to society, as in 2015, the American Cancer Society accounted for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer (American Cancer Society Skin Cancer Facts 5).
American Cancer Society, Melanoma Skin Cancer. 2015. Web.
Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview and Research. n.d. Web.
Skin Cancer Facts. n.d. Web.