What is Skin Cancer

By: Dawson Pehowski, and Evan Allen

Definition of skin cancer

Cancer is when damaged cells grow out of control. A cancer cell is a cell that has damaged DNA and unlike most cells with damaged dna it does not die off it reproduces and creates more cells with the same damaged DNA. These cells are not doing there job to help the body because of the damaged DNA. Skin cancer is Any kind of Cancer that originates or spreads to the skin. There are over 200 known kinds of cancer. About ½ people in the UK will get cancer but many of these people will get cured and half will end up live over 10 years with their cancer. The place where the cancer originated from is called the primary tumor and if it spread to another place in the body which cancer doesn't always necessarily do it is called a secondary tumor. (Cancer Research UK)

What are the symptoms of skin cancer? How does it impact the people it affects?

Skin cancer causes many symptoms such as new fast growing moles, waxy or pearly bumps, ulcers, brown scaly patches or any number of skin irregularities. These symptoms are normally found on sun exposed areas such as neck face shoulder or arms yet these symptoms can still form on any part of the body. These symptoms themselves don't impact the the people that much but the treatments are what affects the patients the most. if this cancer goes untreated it can spread to other parts of the body and can also cause death.(cancer.org)

How prevalent is skin cancer?

The most common kind of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (bcc) and there are over 2,000,000 in the US each year. The most common place for BCC to form is on the face specifically on the nose. There are a few things that increase the odds of getting skin cancer such as tanning beds and even just to much exposure to the sun. this is because the UV rays can damage skin cells and potential make them cancerous. Even though there are things that increase your odds of getting skin cancer you can get it on parts on your body that see very little sunlight. (American Academy of Dermatology)

How is it diagnosed?

Skin cancer is luckily one of the easier cancer to detect. You can do regular skin checks on yourself as often as every month and you can alert your doctor to any fast growing moles, new moles or any other symptom of skin cancer. Your doctor also checks your skin for any sign of skin cancer on your yearly physicals. If your doctor thinks they find anything that could be caused by skin cancer they may recommend you to a dermatologist which is a doctor who specializes on skin. They might perform a dermatoscopy which is a method dermatologist use to look more closely at your skin. (cancer.org)

What are the possible causes of skin cancer?

The most common cause of skin cancer is the sun. The UV radiation is what cause the skin to burn and the more you get sun burned the higher your risk is to develop skin cancer. There are three types of UV light. One type is UVA this is natural light. Another type is UVB this is the kind of light that burns your skin. The third type is UVC this the light that is filtered by the ozone. (Cancer Research UK)

What happens at cellular and molecular level?

At the cellular and molecular the cancer cells take over in the Epidermis and the Dermis. How cancer cells develop is the cell is the DNA in the cells are damaged then they multiply very quickly. If a normal cell has damaged DNA they either die or repair the damaged DNA. (Human Disease and Conditions)
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Fig.1 This is a picture of healthy skin and skin with skin cancer (human disease and conditions)
Video Skin cancer — How skin cancer develops - MayoClinic.com.wmv
"Video Skin Cancer - How Skin Cancer Develops - MayoClinic.com.wmv."YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.

What are treatments? What are the cures?

The most common form of treatment to cure skin cancer is radiation. When the tumor is hit with the radiation the tumor is shrunk because the radiation kills the cancer cells. X-rays are used to treat skin cancer. Usually given daily for a month, cure rates range from 85 to 95 percent. (Skin Cancer Foundation)

Dawson's Work Cited

"Skin Cancer Foundation." Treatment Options. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.


"Skin Cancer." Human Diseases and Conditions. Ed. Miranda Herbert Ferrara. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2010. 1514-1519. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.


Miranda Herbert Ferrara. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2010.

I used this source for most of my info it was part of the data bases. This is a good place to find credible info about skin cancer. I used this source to find out what happens at the cellular level when you have skin cancer. It is a good source because it has a lot of info on skin cancer in general. I chose this source because I was able to find the info I needed to answer the three EQ’s I had to answer. The cite was updated last on December 18 2015. There was no bias it saw both sides of the issue.


"Skin Cancer Risks and Causes." Skin Cancer Risks and Causes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.



Even's Work Cited

"What Is Cancer?" Cancer Research UK. N.p., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.


"Can Melanoma Skin Cancer Be Found Early?" Can Melanoma Skin Cancer Be Found Early? N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.

I used this source for over half of my research because i found that it had a lot of info and i didn't find any biases in this article. I found this article on my own and didn't use one of the Data bases. It helped me answer the EQs of what are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed. this site was last updated on 3/20/15.


"Basal Cell Carcinoma." Basal Cell Carcinoma. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.