Part I—"Soaking Up the Sun" Questions
1. What are some differences between Judy and Mariah that might make Judy more "at risk" for skin cancer than Mariah? (2 points)
Some differences between Judy and Mariah are, for one, Mariah has a darker complexion, therefore, more melanin to protect her from the UV rays of the sun. Mariah also has darker hair where as Judy has red, which again means Mariah has more melanin in her skin/hair. Usually individuals with red hair have a high sensitivity to UV light, and this is a reason why Judy doesn’t like sitting in the sun as too long. Judy fair skin lacks levels of melanin needed with an increase in freckles and a decrease in tanning abilities.
2. What observations did Judy make concerning her mole? How could they have used the ABCDE’s of skin cancer assessment to further assist their observations? (2 points)
Observations Judy made concerning her mole she had as long as she could remember all the sudden started itching for a few days, she noticed the mole changed and was bigger and the edges were jagged and that one edge was a bit darker than the other and the middle was raised and purplish. These observations link to ABCDE’s of skin cancer in almost every way. For A-(asymmetrical) her mole was not round it was asymmetric, B-(border) her mole had jagged edges, C-(color) the color of the mole had darker areas, lighter and purplish colors, D(diameter) her mole had gotten a little bigger and, E-(evolution) her mole had evolved and changed.
3. Should Judy be concerned? Why or why not? (2 points)
Yes I think Judy should be concerned. I believe she should because of her DNA having fair skin and red hair but, mostly because all of the ABCDE’s of melanoma match the description of her mole. I know she may be young but so much of cancers have to do with our genes and with her genes sitting out in the sun without heavy zinc sunscreen on will increase her chances greatly.
Part II—"The Basics of Cancer" Questions
1. Considering the differences between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor, why might a benign tumor be easier to treat? (3 points)
A benign tumor is easier to treat because it is slow growing, takes a long time to spread to other areas of the body, therefore, it is usually localized and can be taken out in one “scoop”.
2. Judy learned that every single person has these cell cycle genes so cells in our body can divide when necessary. What are some normal circumstances where our bodies might need to make more cells? Why is the skin continuously replacing its main cell and what specific damages to the skin would there be a need to make more cells? (3 points)
Some normal circumstances where our bodies make new cells are, when we get burned, cut or injured. Our bodies are always making new cells every day, especially our skin. The skin replaces its main cell because of the day to day damage our skin takes and specific damages to the skin would be burns, cuts, scrapes or any other type of wound that broke through the skin.
3. Every person has these cell cycle proto-oncogenes, but not every person has cancer. Why might this be the case? (3 points)
Every person has cell cycle proto-oncogenes and in normal, healthy oncogene cells they are what regulate cell growth and division. When a person has a mutated form of the proto-oncogene the cell growth is not normal and stops dividing and the person is at risk for developing cancer because the cell growth is not normal.
Part III—"Like Mother, Like Daughter?" Questions
1. Now that you know a little more, what are the risk factors that increase a person's chances of having melanoma? Besides the ABCDE’s, what other signs/symptoms can melanoma present with on a patient? (2 points)
The risk factors that