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Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is a cancer that develops from melanocytes. It istermed to be the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is morecommon in men than women. It is characterized by the abnormal growthof the skin cells responsible for the production of the melaninpigment. The cells are found in the stratum basale, the bottom layerof the epidermis of the skin. The cancer is concentrated in the layerof the epidermis. However, the cancer can affect the melanocytes thatare found in several locations of the body. The possible areas thatcancer can develop include the melanocytes in the eye’s middlelayer and the inner ear. Melanomas can also affect the mouth,intestines, legs in women and the back region in men.

Malignant melanoma is caused by unprotected exposure to ultravioletlight, both UVA and UVB. Such exposure is associated with damage tothe DNA in the melanocytes which leads to a mutation which can leadto abnormal functionalities such as the rapid multiplication of themelanocytes to form tumors (Bertolotto, 2013). Such tumors aremalignant and thus can disperse to other regions of the body fromtheir origin in the skin. Melanomas can also arise from moles.Several changes to the skin’s stratum as the disease develops andprogresses further. There is the superficial spreading melanoma,single melanocytes in epidermis distributed haphazardly, pagetoidmigration of melanocytes, dys-cohesion within nests of melanocytes,asymmetrical host inflammatory response with fibrosis withneovascularization. Such changes occur due to the progressivemultistep genetic mutations in the cell cycle process. Mutationsaffect the functional checks placed to control cell division,differentiation, growth, and death leading to the malignancy of thecells.

References

Bertolotto,C. (2013). Melanoma: from melanocyte to genetic alterations andclinical options.

Scientifica, 2013.