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Published by Sophie Schroeder

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Published by: Sophie Schroeder on May 08, 2012
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Sophie Schroeder English 1102Presnell8 May 2012
Why is Melanoma the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and is theretreatment?
Primary Purpose:
The purpose of my question can benefit many others and myself. People need to be aware that even though the sun may give you a fabulous tan, there are consequences.There are tons people out there like myself, who are uneducated or only know little aboutskin cancer. In my research so far I want to explore this topic more and figure out therisks of Melanoma. I want to know if the sun is the only way to get it, can it be genetic,and how do you even know that you have it? I want people to read this essay and beinformed about their skin and know what to look for. I am also doing this for myself, sothat I can be more aware and know the specifics Melanoma.
10 questions:
What is Melanoma?
Can you die from it?
Is there an average age that people get skin cancer?
Is there treatment?
Does the tanning bed increase your risk?
Does sunscreen protect you from getting it?
How do you know you have it?
If someone in your family has it, are you more at risk?
Does it depend on our skin type?
Can you get Melanoma after just one sunburn?
 Prior beliefs, assumptions, experience:
Skin Cancer had been in my family for as long as I can remember. My mom anddad were and still are the crazy parents that have the sun shirts on with 100 proof sun block under the umbrella. But they only do that on the rare occasions, otherwise they are
inside watching from a far. Even though both my parents have skin cancer and
specifically my dad with Melanoma, I don’t know really anything about it. I usually ju
stget lectured when I get sun burnt or they glob sunscreen on me till I look like a ghost.We never talk about specifics, which is why I want to know more. My dad used to go tothe doctor every two weeks and sometimes it was every week. Its has lessoned to aboutonce a month now but he still comes home with bandages all over his back, arms andface. Each time he goes they cut out more skin that can potentially be cancerous or at
least that’s what he tells me.
I guess you could say I became interested when they found an odd shaped moleon me during my normal physical. I knew it was always there but never thought it could be something like skin cancer. I assumed like most people that things like this or worsecould never happen to someone like me. I just want to know more and educate myself soI can know what to look for and what to do. Also of course what interested me was myfamily. I have always been curious but I have never took aside the time to actually look into it.Skin Cancer is never really on TV or in some huge breaking news story so I havenever really given it any thought. Besides the thoughts from my parents and their lectures about how bad tanning is and I look fine without it. I then began to wonder about the hard-core tanners. The ones that are at your neighborhood pool every singleday with tanning oil all over their skin. They look so dark that it hurts your eyes or looks
like they’re a different race. Well I wondered how many of them have skin cancer thatthey just don’t
know about. Than I began to wonder that if you have say Indian in you or Italian are you safer? I want to know who is more prone to skin cancer like Melanoma or is it just how well you use sunscreen and protect yourself from the sun?
Working Knowledge:
When I
Melanoma in general numerous of pages about symptoms,treatment, and stages popped up. But the website that caught my attention was strictlycalled
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and it begins inthe skin cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, whichgives skin its color. When people spend time in the sun the melanocytes make moremelanin and cause the skin to tan. If the skin receives too much ultraviolet light, themelanocytes can begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous. The first sign of melanoma can be a change in the size, shape or color of a mole, but can also show up as anew mole. In men melanoma often shows up on the upper body between the shouldersand hips, and on the head and neck. In women it develops on the lower legs.I learned from
that most doctors diagnose Melanoma byexamining the spot causing concern and doing a skin biopsy. The tumor thickness can
determine how well it can be cured. Those measuring less than 1 millimeter, haveexcellent cure rates but the think the melanoma the less optimistic the prognosis.
When I entered “Melanoma” into
 Encyclopedia Britannica
it came up with a lotof sub topics like radiation, methods of examination and tumors. According to data published in 2009 by theWorld Health Organization,an estimated 132,000 newmelanoma cases are diagnosed worldwide each year. In theUnited Statesmelanomarepresents nearly 5 percent of all cases of cancer.Melanoma is a deadly disease; it isresponsible for nearly three-quarters of allskin cancer deaths and is increasing infrequency. Unlike other skin growths, melanoma is always malignant.
After I “Googled” Melanoma in young people a lot of sites popped up. Dr.
Timothy DiChiara a professor at St. George University wrote an article called
 Melanomaand the Young 
. In it he explains that hundreds of thousands of people have not theslightest idea of what skin cancer looks like or can do to you. Also itis the second mostcommon cancer in women aged 20 to 29. If not caught in its earliest stage, melanoma caneasily spread to other parts of the body.
Primary Research: 
I plan to interview both my Mom and Dad. Considering that they both have skincancer and especially my dad with Melanoma, they would be well-suited people to
interview. I want to know how it’s affected their lives and how they deal with it. Did
they know they had some type of skin cancer before they went to the doctor, or was it atotal shock? Also I would like to know if their parents had it and did they use sunscreenor even know how to protect their skin when they were younger? Basically I just want toknow how this disease has affected them in general and personally.
What was the hardest part of getting your idea together and writing your inquiryquestion and proposal?I immediately knew what I wanted to do, but the hard part was trying to figure outexactly what in my topic. I also had a hard time with my inquiry question
 because I didn’t know exactly what to ask and I still feel like it needs to be
worked on.
What do you like best about your whole project, past and to come, so far?I like that it is very close to home. It affects my family and me so it makes it very personal. I am so interested in my topic which I feel like is very good because Iwill keep doing research and never get bored with what I am doing. I am hopingthat my interest in this topic does not die so when I keep working on it in thefuture it wont be hard.
In what ways has your group been helpful (or detrimental)? What have theysuggested?

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