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Not an Old Person's Disease


Author(s)

Jennifer Miskowski
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
miskowsk.jenn@uwlax.edu
Anne Galbraith
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
galbrait.anne@uwlax.edu

Abstract

The overall goal of this case is to introduce students to the genetic basis of cancer while teaching them about melanoma. The fictional protagonist of the case is 20-year-old Judy. Fair-haired and fair-skinned, Judy covets the kind of suntan that her friend Mariah seems to be able to get effortlessly.  All Judy has to show for the hours she spends in the sun is a bad sunburn. But then Judy notices a mole on her leg that looks odd.  This case was written specifically for a general education health and wellness class taken by students ranging from first-year students to seniors, and from non-science majors to biology majors.


Objectives

  • Learn about the risk factors of melanoma.
  • Understand that cancer is not necessarily an "old person's disease."
  • Learn that that cancer is caused by mutations in normal genes found in cells.
  • Understand the difference between benign and malignant tumors.
  • Learns the ABCDE's of self-examination for melanoma.
  • Learn that a predisposition to melanoma (and other cancers) can be inherited.

Keywords

Skin cancer; melanoma; tumor; tumor suppressor; proto-oncogene; oncogene; melanocyte; malignant; malignancy

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Medicine (General)  |  


Date Posted

09/23/02

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Comments


Erin Morse
morsee@pcsb.org


Clearwater, Florida
09/25/2012
Good morning-

I presented this case to my honors anatomy classes. Can you please tell me if this a real case, and if so, what was the result of Judy's biopsy? My students are curious!

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Anne Galbraith
agalbraith@uwlax.edu
Biology
U of WI - La Crosse
La Crosse, WI
12/03/2012
Author's Reply: This case was not based on a real person, but I am glad that it got your students excited. :)

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