How Do Moles Become Cancerous?


Moles, birthmarks, beauty marks. Most people have multiple moles, and they
come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Usually they’re harmless, but occasionally
they could be a sign of a very serious disease: melanoma. So, when is a mole just a mole, and how does
it turn into a deadly form of cancer? Now, not all melanomas start from a mole,
but all moles are made up of the type of cells that can become melanomas: melanocytes. Hi, my name is Aaron Mangold. I’m an assistant professor of dermatology
at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. I specialize in cancer genomics as well as
utilizing advanced forms of genetics to prognosticate cancers for spread to other areas of the body,
as well as for therapeutic interventions. Melanocytes primarily protect skin cells from
ultraviolet damage through the production of pigment called melanin. Melanocytes deliver melanin to the surrounding
keratinocytes, or skin cells in the epidermis, giving our skin its color. When we come in contact with ultraviolet light
from the sun, this melanin protects our skin from damage, while also signaling to the body
to produce more melanin. This is why you might tan when you go out
in the sun. And this system works pretty well, but it’s
not perfect. So melanocytes really have evolved over time
to be extremely resistant to ultraviolet light. They’ve become extremely resistant to acquiring
mutations that in normal cells might lead to apoptosis, or cell death. And they also are able to circulate innately
throughout the body. Since melanocytes aren’t as likely to die
due to DNA damage from UV light, they obtain mutations and can continue to grow and may
cluster together, forming non-cancerous growths called “nevi,” or moles. Those damaged melanocytes can then acquire
additional mutations and continue to proliferate forming a precancerous lesion or eventually
a melanoma. One mutation that almost all moles have is
in the gene BRAF, a protein that is part of cell signaling involved in cell growth. But, a single BRAF mutation is not enough
to cause cancer. And not all melanomas even come from moles. So the way that melanoma, or the way that
a melanocyte becomes a melanoma, occurs through a fairly long process. There’s not one specific change that happens
that leads to it. It’s a series of changes. Additional mutations in genes can be caused
by things like further damage due to UV light. These changes prevent natural cell death and
lead to uncontrolled growth of the cancerous melanoma cells. Fortunately, melanomas can be removed if discovered
early enough. And there are ways to check if a mole is irregular,
which we’ll talk about a little later. But, what happens if melanoma isn’t caught? …the melanoma cells, they’re able to acquire
certain properties that make them not want to stay in the skin any more. And once they acquire those, they can actually
go into things called lymphatics in the bloodstream and then can spread. Once melanoma has reached this stage and has
spread from the lymph nodes to other parts of the body, it’s very hard to cure. It also has a high mortality rate, only 23%
of patients survive past five years. So it’s important to identify an abnormal
mole soon so that it can be removed. Fortunately, there is an easy ABCDE rule to
follow, which checks for asymmetry, irregular borders, uneven color, increasing diameter
and an evolution or change in the mole. An individual might say that this lesion is
just different. This doesn’t look like everything else on
me. That ugly duckling sign I think is also very
useful in having some form of self body awareness and say, “I want this looked at.” Specialists like Dr. Mangold are also starting
to use immunotherapy to combat later stage melanoma, using the body’s natural defenses
to fight the disease. Normally our immune system will travel throughout
the body, the immune cells will, and those immune cells will look at individual normal
cells and say, “How abnormal are you?” …And when they have those signals telling
them that they’ve acquired too much damage, the immune system then kills them…. Well, cancer cells have figured out how to
use certain proteins like that that will say, “Don’t worry about it. Everything is okay. We’re doing fine. Leave us alone.” Recently, they figured out how to block those,
how to block those signals that quiet the immune system. And it’s really revolutionized not just the
care of cancer as it pertains to melanoma, but cancer in general. But immunotherapy is still an emerging science. Doctors have to avoid making the immune system
too active. This would result in an autoimmune disease,
or an immune system that attacks healthy cells. It’s really analogous to playing a musical
instrument or playing a piano. You have all the keys that are there. Yet, you can make good music, or you can make
bad music. And we’re trying to figure out now, how do
we make good music and how do we avoid that kind of bad music? While immunotherapy is still developing, there
is one treatment that everyone can take part in. You don’t want people to lose sight of what’s
important, and I think it was Bert Vogelstein who said this, that if you could give someone
a pill and tell them, “This pill that I give you is going to reduce your risk of cancer by 50%,” that it would be across every news organization,
every magazine cover. Someone would get a Nobel Prize for it. And we do have that pill. That pill is primary prevention through healthy
behaviors, healthy eating, different things that we can do as individuals that will reduce
those risks.

100 thoughts on “How Do Moles Become Cancerous?

  1. Bro that guy is like a fricking robot. It’s as if he’s programmed and doesn’t actually know anything

  2. I was scared to watch this video as I have those on my face and I dislike them. Would look so much better without and it is destroying my confidence… can you make a video if they are removable?

  3. this comment section needs to chill!
    Maybe he isn't used to being interviewed, maybe this was his first interview…
    good thing that he atleast tried.
    As an introvert, only people like me understand more than anyone else.

  4. I have about 50 moles on my right arm and my left arm, also 50 on both legs and some on my back and on my face the risk of cancer is great.

  5. By this logic shouldn't black people be more prone to this form of cancer since the entirety of their skin is concentrated melanocytes?

  6. Thanks #Seeker , now you have successfully sacred HALF OF THE HUMAN POPULATION in just 5 MINUTES 👏👏

  7. I had melanoma 2 years ago when i was 19. Luckily it didn’t spread and i had it removed. Please wear sunscreen and care about your sun exposure

  8. That pill would be hype because it would make people feel like they can continue all their bad habits consequence free. Having to actually commit to a healthy lifestyle is definitely not the same thing.

  9. One important thing my doctor once told me is that if a mole has hair growing out of it it's highly unlikely to be cancerous, since that would mess with the follicles. Good to know.

  10. My son has a big birthmark on his back. Irregular and raised in shape. Don't know if it could be dangerous.

  11. what about freckles? seems like a similar thing. I have hundreds of them. Also, moles I get are pink. why are gingers so weird?

  12. 5:21 "-and we do have that pill, that pill is called winning the genetic lottery…"
    Oh, well if that's all…

  13. is it me or the guys seemed more passionate about his music allegory than the entirety of his explanation?

  14. my mother-in-law had these huge moles on her chest and she was always complaining about them hurting and she had the worst back pain. she was going back n fourth to the ER about the back pain, they just kept giving her stronger and stronger pain meds until she finally had to fall off work and stay home because the discomfort wouldn't allow her to sit at work….. literally 2 weeks after she decided to leave work, she was diagnosed with myeloma. do moles foresee other types of cancers too ? i am covered in moles, head to toe. only a few are raised/stick out. my grandma and mom has lots of them too… i've never worried about them being cancerous. my oldest son has a huge one on his arm that i worry about.

  15. I've always been praised for my perfect complexion, even in highschool I didn't get zits, and if I did it'd be one big one that'd be gone in a day or two. Otherwise, not a single freckle on me. Other than one big, fat mole on my back above my ass. Things so huge, it's the size of a quarter. Its like my entire body put every blemish into that one spot. People would see me at the beach and say "hey bro did you shit your pants?" No, it's a giant mole that's permanently fused to my otherwise perfect body. I'm not so upset about it though, I'm blessed for what I got as it is.

  16. I have had a neighbour die of Melanoma….. OUT in the sun for years… and by the time it was found, it had spread everywhere…. So the cancer clinic would cut off an ear, and then a skin graft, then part of his cheek, and then a skin graft, and over his rib cage and then a skin graft, and then his lip and then a skin graft, and parts of his scalp and then a skin graft, – it just went on and on and on and on – until he just looked like an OLD patchwork bear, made from skin grafts and stitches and in the end pus was leaking out from under his eye etc….. It was hard watching him dying from it over a long period of time, but he got his projects done and then moved out and died a few months later…. RIP Vin.

  17. He reminds me of this one science project I did a while back, where I made a clone that was half David Byrne and half Rick Moranis.  I was going for Byrne's musical ability and Moranis' endearing awkwardness, but what I got was something with the musical ability of Moranis (almost completely nonfunctional, musically speaking), the wild need for experimentalism of Byrne, and something that was somehow 105% awkward.  For some reason, it looked exactly like Hugh Grant.

  18. What about green /blue moles. Anyone know anything about those? I had one in my back since I can remember, it never causes any pain so I forget I have it sometimes.

  19. Do not hate brothers and sisters of the comment section. Thou not bestow anger. U are just going thru.a tuff time. Reach out to a neighbor or a friend if in need of a hug. If thou must shed a tear I offer you tissues and an open ear

  20. I like this kind of documentary where you bring other expert to explain, rather the host the only one who do the talking till the end.

  21. Chem Biol Interact. 2017 Aug 1;273:107-114. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Jun 7.
    Cannabidiol upregulates melanogenesis through CB1 dependent pathway by activating p38 MAPK and p42/44 MAPK.
    Hwang YS1, Kim YJ2, Kim MO3, Kang M3, Oh SW3, Nho YH4, Park SH5, Lee J6.
    Author information
    Abstract

    Melanogenesis plays a critical role in the protection of skin against external stresses such as ultraviolet irradiation and oxidative stressors. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of cannabidiol on melanogenesis and its mechanisms of action in human epidermal melanocytes. We found that cannabidiol increased both melanin content and tyrosinase activity. The mRNA levels of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP) 1, and TRP2 were increased following cannabidiol treatment. Likewise, cannabidiol increased the protein levels of MITF, TRP 1, TRP 2, and tyrosinase. 

    Mechanistically, we found that cannabidiol regulated melanogenesis by upregulating MITF through phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and p42/44 MAPK, independent of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling. In addition, the melanogenic effect of cannabidiol was found to be mediated by cannabinoid CB1 receptor, not by CB2 receptor. 

    Taken together, these findings indicate that cannabidiol-induced melanogenesis is cannabinoid CB1 receptor-dependent, and cannabidiol induces melanogenesis through increasing MITF gene expression which is mediated by activation of p38 MAPK and p42/44 MAPK. Our results suggest that cannabidiol might be useful as a protective agent against external stresses.

  22. Hi, thanks for watching! Is there a particular disease you're curious about? Let us know in the comments what you'd like us to cover next!

  23. I thought the dude did a really good job presenting??? I didn’t really watch the video but listening to it was very easy to understand.

  24. Good information
    ► অস্বাভাবিক আঁচিল হলে সতর্ক হওয়া জরুরি – https://youtu.be/4ebb9gPkl-M

  25. I did a presentation of melanoma at school! And I wish you made this like a year and a half ago, it would’ve been really good for it. It supports a lot of what I found

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