Gene Mutation Broshure- Sarah Cooper

- Melonoma

Melonoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia and is more common to be diagnosed in men than women. The risk of getting a melanoma is increased for people who have exposure to UV radiation, especially with frequent sunburn. It is also increased for people who have increased amount of moles, poor immune systems, a family history of melanoma and has fair skin which is more prone to burning rather than tanning.

- What has Melanoma got to do with genetic mutations?

Cancer is a gene mutation to do with the division and multiplication of cells not happening as they should. Although it isn’t the only reason, UV radiation increases the risk immensely, so things such as the sun or tanning beds act as the mutagen, which triggers the genetic mutation to occur. The cells become more abnormal as the genes become more damaged and often the genes that control DNA repair also become damaged. The mutant cell, divides in meiosis with two daughter cells, and these are then mutated and keep dividing with mutations and different behaviours, and this results int he tumour growing bigger.

- What are the symptoms of Melanoma are there any treatments?

There are no symptoms for melanoma but changes in skin with asymmetry, irregular border or uneven colour or pigment of the skin. Other symptoms include dark areas under nails or membranes lining in the mouth. The main prevention is to avoid sunburn, and limit dangerous sun exposure, and be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen when in the sun and to also avoid using tanning solariums. To remove the melanoma, surgery can remove it from the skin. Chemotherapy can be used for a wide range of melanoma, but surgery is the ideal treatment but isn’t always effective if the cancer is very thick.

Cancer: rogue cells and DNA mutations