What genetic mutations produce the greatest risk of skin cancer? Cancer begins when one or more genes in a cell mutate. This either creates an abnormal protein or no protein at all, which causes mutated cells to multiply uncontrollably. The Most common gene to carry skin cancer would be the MC1R (melanocortin-1 receptor). Increasing evidence is showing that the greater number of variations in this gene, the greater the risk for melanoma. It also carries a more moderate risk that the CDKN2A mutation which is the most common inherited mutation, usually these people have a large number of irregularly shaped moles. Approximately 70 percent of people who have CDKNA gene mutation will develop melanoma. What genes control the color of skin, hair, and eyes?
The MC1R (Melanocortin 1 receptor) gene is partly responsible for determining whether or not a person has fair skin, a certain hair color or UV radiation sensitivity. The MC1r gene provides instructions for making a protein call Melanocortin that plays the role in normal pigmentation. The receptor is primarily located on the surface of melanocytes, which are specialized cells that produce pigment called melanin. The melanin is the substance that gives hair, skin, and eyes their color. Melanocytes make two forms of melanin; eumelanin and pheomelanin. A certain amount of these two pigments help determine a persons’ hair and skin color. Are these gene mutations germ-line, or caused by exposure to UV light? These mutations can actually be a combination of both parent hand downs and UV light.
According to research if one is a parent or sibling with melanoma their risk of developing skin cancer is two to three times greater than an average person. But risk is still small, and a lot of the times, the gene will not even be found. Basically, anyone can develop mutated genes from the sun or anything else such as cigarette smoke, radiation, and other environmental factors, but if ones family has a history of the mutated genes that person will be more susceptible to receiving these genes, but it is not guaranteed. What recommendation about UV light exposure would be made to individuals who are genetically susceptible to skin cancer? Well the most important thing someone can do who is susceptible to skin cancer would be to protect the skin.
Applying sun screen of the appropriate UV levels when going outside is extremely important. Also one may wear longer clothing, preferably cotton works best to protect the skin. If someone is extremely susceptible they may want to consider relocating, such as moving north or to cooler less sunny areas of the planet. If one is concerned they should see a specialist to see how likely they are to get skin cancer, as well as regular screenings and exams. They should also do self-exam techniques on a monthly basis, and have biopsies of any skin lesions. One who is at risk for skin cancer would also want to stay away from things such as tanning beds as well.
DiChiara, T. P. (2009, 05 04). An introduction to cancer genetics and malanoma. Retrieved 01 29, 2013, from About.com: http://skincancer.about.com/od/riskfactors/a/malanoma-genes.htm Kitchen, e. R. (2011, 06 27). Genetics of malenoma . Retrieved 01 29, 2013, from bright hub: http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/69975.aspx Simbra, M. D. (2011, 06 22). Genetics may play a role in risk for skin cancer. Retrieved 01 29, 2013, from CBSlocal.com: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/06/22/genetics-may-play-in-risk-for-skin-cancer/