Essay about Causes And Treatment Of Cancer

1739 Words Dec 12th, 2014 null Page

Cancer is a disease whereby cells undergo changes that cause them to grow uncontrollably1. These changes are caused by gene mutations2.

Genes are sections of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), contained within every cell2. Genes control which proteins are synthesised and which cells should be destroyed2. Each type of cancer is classified according to the site where the cancer initiated, i.e. the location of initial gene mutation3.

Malignant melanoma is a skin cancer whereby the cancer initiates in cells named melanocytes3. Ultra-violet radiation (UVR) is thought to be the main cause of melanoma4, especially when in combination with endogenous susceptibilities such as genetic predispositions5.

Skin structures

The skin is the largest organ of the human body6. Its essential functions include preventing fluid loss, protecting against injuries, regulating body temperature, producing vitamin D and protecting against UV radiation6. The skin consists of three main layers; the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue7 (Figure 1), each with different features (Table 1).

Epidermis Dermis Subcutaneous tissue

Definition Outermost layer of the skin8 A connective tissue matrix of the skin9 The deepest layer of the skin6 made of loose connective tissue and fat9.

Location Lies directly above the dermis7 Underlies the epidermis9 Underneath the dermis6
Constituents Primarily keratinocytes, but also contains melanocytes in its deepest layer9 Collagen…

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