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Skin Cancers, Conditions and Burns Paper

1. Describe the different types of skin cancers, including the type of cells they arise from and the appearance of the lesions.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It appears typically as a raised bump that has an off white appearance. It is commonly seen in areas of the skin that have received a lot of sun exposure (or artificial tanning). These cancers may spread to the skin surrounding them, but do not often spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinoma is also seen on the areas of the body that have been exposed to excessive sun (areas of the face, such as the nose, lower lip, hands, and forehead). This type of cancer often appears as a red bump or an ulcer on the skin that has a problem healing. This type of cancer can spread to lymph nodes in the same general area.

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Melanoma cancer (malignancy) that arises from the melanocytes, which is cells located in the bottom layer of the skins epidermis, (it is also the pigment that generally responsible for the color in your skin). This type of cancer typically comes up as colored bumps or lesions in the skin with an irregular shape, and different colors. It is the most harmful of the three skin cancers, because it can spread to lymph nodes or other sites in the body. Fortunately, most of diagnosed melanomas have a high cure rate when identified and treated early. (Skin Cancer, 2010)

2. What is the most common risk factor for skin cancer and how can we protect ourselves from skin cancer? Different types of cancers can have different risk factors, and some of these risk factors, like smoking for instance, can be controlled, while others, like a person aging or family history cannot.

The most common risk factor for skin cancer would be Ultraviolet (UV) light. As we read this week in Chapter 4 Skin and Body Membranes, our book tells us that exposure to Ultraviolet radiation (Sunlight or Ultraviolet light, such as tanning beds) can cause this.

Sunlight is the main source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can damage the genes in your skin cells. UV light is thought to be the major risk factor and the cause for most skin cancers by doctors and scientist. Tanning lamps and booths are another source of UV radiation. People with high levels of exposure to UV light are at greater risk for skin cancer, than those who take the time to protect their skin from the harmful UV radiation waves. (American Cancer Society, 2010)

3. How is the blister on Frank’s foot is similar to a burn? Distinguish between first second and third degree burns. Blisters are a symptom of 2nd degree and greater burns.

Superficial burns (1st degree burns) – this burn affects only the top layer of the skin. Skin will look red and will be painful to the person burned. Partial-thickness burns (2nd degree burns) – this burn affects the top 2 layers of skin. Most noticeable by causing blisters, the skin will also appear red, it will also have a wet look to it and will be painful to the person burned. Full-thickness burns (3rd degree burn) – with this burn, which is the worst to have, all three layers of skin will be affected; the skin burned will appear like leather, dry, charred, or even have a change in color and will be appear to be gray. May not be painful because nerve endings have been destroyed or may be very painful if surrounded by superficial burns. (Wikia, Unknown)

4. What are the two major risk factors associated with burns? There are two life threatening problems which could result in burns. The first is when the skin is burned, the body loses its supply of fluids, which contain proteins and electrolytes as these come from the burned surfaces. When this happens it causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can cause the kidneys to shut down and circulatory shock, which is when the circulation of your blood slows down because of low blood volume. The second major risk would b infection, which is the most important threat and is the leading cause of death in burn victims. The skin is sterile for 24 hours after the burn occurs, after that pathogens, such as bacteria and fungi start invading the areas where the skin has been destroyed, they multiply rapidly in the dead tissue. After suffering from a severe burn or any injury, a person’s immune system becomes weaken within one or two days after an injury.

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