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Essay on Skin Cancer

Info: 1320 words (5 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 22nd Apr 2021

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Tagged: cancerenvironmental factors

   New Zealand has a lot of people with skin cancer. It has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, in fact skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand and it is on the rise in every year. The purpose of this essay is to inform people of skin cancer should be taken seriously and give suggestions how to reduce the number of people with skin cancer. This article has been discussed the cause, the impact and the prevention of skin cancer. The cause has been divided into two factors, environmental and individual. The main cause of skin cancer is environmental factors. The environmental factors can be divided into two parts, pollution and sun.

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    Air pollution can cause skin cancer. Pollutants can enter the body from all aspects, the largest area of pollutants in contact with skin, and it has the greatest impact.  According to Hoover (2017), the main pollutants come from burning of “coal, tobacco, diesel, asphalt, creosote, gasoline, wood, oil, and tar”. However, the issue of the link between air pollution and skin cancer is a less one and it is still being studied and explored by scientists. So it is not an important cause of skin cancer.

   The most important cause of skin cancer is the sun. Sunshine can cause damage to body cells, especially the skin is particularly frail. Skin cells are most exposed to sunlight and are easily damaged. A few minutes can do harm to fair skin. If not treated and repaired in time, it will become worse. According to research, 90% of skin cancer is caused be sunlight. In report (2016), “If exposure to sunlight continues for several years, the damaged skin has an increased chance of developing one of the forms of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of developing these cancers (although it may not be the only cause of the disease).” New Zealand has a good environmental protection and the hole in the ozone layer, it makes the sky in New Zealand especially clean and causes the sunlight to be stronger. Because of the low buildings in New Zealand, people are more exposed to the sun when the sunshine is direct. Plus New Zealanders love the sun when they are on the beach or park grass in New Zealand. It is common to see many people lying in the sun. Therefore, a lot of people in New Zealand get skin cancer.

   In addition to environmental factors, family genes are also key to skin cancer. If a person has skin cancer genes in their family, they have a good chance of having cancer. They are 43% more likely to get skin cancer. The reason for this is that skin cancer like high blood pressure is hereditary. According to Berlin (2015), “Individuals with a first-degree relative diagnosed with skin cancer prior to age 50 and those with a family history of both melanoma and NMSC are at highest risk for early-onset BCC.” Everybody should have their genes checked by a specialist. If there are people in family who have skin cancer, it is recommended that person have regular physical examinations and early screening to find out whether you have skin cancer genes. It is necessary for health. If a mole or spot on a person body becomes bigger, that person must go to the hospital or institution that can detect the skin cancer genes. New Zealand has many places can detect the skin cancer genes. But there is no good way to prevent future generations from passing on skin cancer genes, scientists will try to find a good way to prevent skin cancer genes.

 There are many ways to prevent or lower the risk of getting skin cancer, such as the following:

•  Avoiding the sun at its strongest times between 10am to 4pm. Do not schedule outdoor activities during this time, including sport lesson, extreme sports.

•  People can sit in the shade of a tree or a building when they cannot avoid the peak of the sunlight.

•  People can wear hats and clothes in summer, which can greatly reduce the chance of sunlight hitting the skin.

•  If people do not like to wear hats and long sleeves, they should apply outdoor sunscreen at least SPF 30 degrees throughout the year even on cloudy days.

•   New Zealanders should learn to hold umbrellas. Umbrellas can be used not only in rainy days, but also in sunny days to keep out the sun.

•   Vegetables and fruits are good for health. There are rich in vitamins. Now the price of vegetables in New Zealand is often higher than the price of meat. If the government can strongly support farmers to grow vegetables and reduce the price of vegetables, people can buy more vegetables. Then vitamin intake can be more adequate. The rates of fat and cancer will be reduce.

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  The impact that skin cancer has on the death rate. This part to show the current state of skin cancer in New Zealand. If the problem is not solved, the impact could be worse and it shows that the problem is very important. According to the O’Dea (2009), “Since 2000, deaths have numbered about 250 per year from melanoma, and about 100 per year from non-melanoma skin cancer.” It is clear from the table that from 2000 to 2005 the total number of melanoma deaths of men and women in New Zealand was about 256, while the number of deaths from non-melanoma skin cancer was about 100 per year. If person add them together, the overall number of deaths per year from skin cancer is about 356. It is a very high proportion of deaths. New Zealand has a much higher rate of skin cancer deaths than any other countries.

    Skin cancer has the impact on economy. As the death rate of skin cancer continues to rise, the government economic expenditure on skin cancer is also on the rise. Firstly, the economic impact of health-care costs. New Zealand’s health-care costs were NZ$57.1 MN in 2006. According to O’Dea (2009), “health-care provided by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and hospital oncology departments.” Secondly, the economic impact of lost production. It includes being unable to work after skin cancer, it was NZ$66.0 MN in 2006, and total were NZ$ 123.1 MN. The rise of skin cancer is also a pressure on the government economic.

    In conclusion, skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand and it is on the rise. Sunlight is the most important cause of skin cancer. People can prevent ahead of time, if they discover the skin has a problem and go to a doctor in time. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid too much sunlight. The death rate from skin cancer is on the rise, it has also led to increased economic pressure on the government over skin cancer. The problem is not an easy question for New Zealand, so the issue of skin cancer should be taken seriously for everybody.

(Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, 2016) (O’Dea, 2009) (Nicholas L. Berlin, 2015)  (Hoover, 2017)


  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety. (2016, June 22). Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety. Retrieved from Skin Cancer and Sunlight: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/skin_cancer.html
  • Hoover, C. A. (2017, April 17). Medical News Bulletin. Retrieved from What is the Role of Air Pollution in Skin Cancer Development?: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/role-air-pollution-skin-cancer-development
  • Nicholas L. Berlin, B. C. (2015, December 1). Family history of skin cancer is associated with early-onset basal cell carcinoma independent of MC1R genotype. Retrieved from ScienceDirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877782115001988?via%3Dihub
  • O’Dea, D. (2009). The Costs of Skin Cancer to New Zealand. New Zealand: The Cancer Society of New Zealand. Retrieved from https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz/assets/Sunsmart/Information-sheets/CostsofSkinCancer-NZ-22October2009.pdf


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