Moles & melanoma

Skin Care Matters

With Michelle Vernon

Sunday, June 04, 2017

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MOLES: Some people have a few while others have many, but what makes a mole become a melanoma?A mole comprises non-cancerous cells transitioning to a melanoma. In other words, moles inhibit nevus cell proliferation; therefore, decreased levels lead to an increased chance that a melanoma would develop.

A decreased expression in protein has also been associated with melanoma, but the experts believe cell proliferation to be the primary driver cell senescence in nevus cells.

When to screen test

A screening or testing which involves skin damage, scarring, biopsies and so forth could potentially be harmful to those who have no specific skin cancer signs.

Yet, the experts recognise those individuals with a family history of skin cancer or symptoms of skin cancer getting tested and getting full screenings to catch the disease prior to receiving it or before it spreads.

Despite the screening controversy, the experts advise a future study to identify the impact screening has on individuals who are at high risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer statistics in the United States

• More than 10,000 people lose their life to skin cancer annually.

• Around 75,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed yearly.

• Melanoma affects around 68,000 people annually.

• Melanoma kills more than 9,200 people annually

Good news

Researchers from the University of Southern California have identified the gene that repairs sun damage to protect someone from cancer.

When people sunbathe or go tanning, those who have the normal UV-resistant gene can repair most UV-induced DNA burns in a timely manner, whereas those with the defective UV-resistant gene will have more damage left unrepaired.

If we understand how this UV-resistant gene functions and the processes by which cells repair themselves after ultraviolet damage, then we could find targets for drugs to revert a misguided mechanism back to normal conditions.

Michelle Vernon is a licensed aesthetician who operates the Body Studio Skincare located at 23 Central Plaza, Kingston 10, and Fairview Shopping Centre, Montego Bay. She may be reached at telephone 908-0438 or 684-9800; IG@bodystudioskincare; E-mail:; Website:

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