Abnormal Skin Pigmentations Associated with Cancer

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Believe it or not, a single external organ of the human body plays a vital role in our lives. “The skin is the largest organ of the human body; [like personality], it varies from individual to individual”, as stated in National Geographic (science.nationalgeographic.com). The skin, according to Sandra Lawton a clinical expert in dermatology, is comprised of three layers. “The outside layer of skin is known as the epidermis, the layer that can be seen. The epidermis consists of hairs and sweat pores. The deeper layer of the skin is known as the dermis, which is separated from the epidermis by a dermal-epidermal junction and consists of sweat glands, oil glands, blood vessels and hair follicles. The last layer is the fatty layer which increases with weight gain but provides the body with insulation “(Lawton, 2013). If the skin is not protected, it can develop cancerous growths as a result of excessive exposure to ultra-violet (UV) radiation, causing skin cancer. Though skin differs in color due to melanin, protective sun pigmentation, some people have variations of discolored patches on their skin. Where does skin discoloration come from? Some people have light patches; others have hairy patches, while some may not have them at all. These variations of patches on the skin are common skin abnormalities such as birthmarks, liver spots, and freckles. What happens when abnormalities of the external organ affects the functions of the internal organs? This paper discusses several skin pigmentations that can be associated with the development of cancer due to several factors: the type of pigmentation, and the genotype associated with skin pigmentations and genetics in relation to cancer.


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