Melanoma and Carcinoma Causes

Melanoma also known as malignant melanoma is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin the pigment that colours our skin. It is a less common, but most dangerous form of skin cancer and can originate in any part of the body that contains the skin pigment producing cells. Ultraviolet rays most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The two types of UV rays that cause melanoma are UV-A and UV-B rays. A number of rare mutations, which often run in families, greatly increase melanoma susceptibility. Several genes increase risk of melanoma. The persons born with giant congenital melanocytic nevi are at increased risk. Possible significant elements in determining risk include the intensity and duration of sun exposure, the age at which sun exposure occurs, and the degree of skin pigmentation. UV radiation causes damage to the DNA of cells.

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, from the sun or artificial tanning beds, is the most important environmental risk factor for melanoma; the multiple detrimental effects of UVR on human skin, including DNA damage through the formation of diametric photoproducts, gene mutations, oxidative stress, inflammation, and immunosuppression, all of which contribute to melanoma genesis; and the evidence that protection from UVR exposure, whether by melanin or by sunscreen, reduces the risk of developing melanoma. Genes are found in the DNA in each cell that makes up your body. They control how the cell functions, including how quickly it grows, how often it divides, and how long it lives. Researchers estimate that there are 30,000 different genes in each cell. DNA is the major target of direct or indirect UV-induced cellular damage. Low pigmentation capacity in white Caucasians and rare congenital defects in DNA repair are mainly responsible for protection failures. Human skin is comprised of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and fat. Cells in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) called melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin and eyes their colour. Congenital melanocytic naevi are proliferations of benign melanocytes (pigment cells) that are present at birth or develop shortly after birth. Other melanocytic naevi, or moles, that look like birthmarks, but were not present at birth, are often called, ‘congenital type. Your risk of cancer can increase through exposure to cancer causing agents. These agents may be biological (specific viruses or bacteria), physical (ultraviolet light, x-rays) or chemical. 

  • UV radiation in melanoma
  • Genetics cause carcinoma
  • DNA cell damage in melanoma
  • Skin pigmentation for carcinoma
  • Giant congenital melanocytic nevi in melanoma
  • Environmental factors cause carcinoma

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