Demystifying Medicine Video

This video investigates the molecular mechanisms by which skin cancer is formed. Skin cancer is the most prominent type of cancer in Canada, accounting for about one third of all new cases. The three main types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Skin cancer is largely preventable in the most cases, which shows the importance of public prevention and awareness of this disease. Skin cancer can be categorized into 3 main types; basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.

Improving our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms has allowed researchers to find new approaches to preventing this disease. Photocarcinogenesis refers to the biochemical events that ultimately lead to the occurrence of skin cancer. Currently, there have been three pathways that have been identified: genetic mutations, epigenetic changes, and alterations in gene expression. While they all act to cause skin cancer, these three pathways tend to work together to trigger development of cancer.
[Please complete our feedback form]

Author Details


  • The Many Shades of Skin Cancer:
  • Adriana T. Lopez, Liang Liu and Larisa Geskin (December 20th 2017). Molecular Mechanisms and Biomarkers of Skin Photocarcinogenesis, Human Skin Cancers - Pathways, Mechanisms, Targets and Treatments, Miroslav Blumenberg, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.70879. Available from:
  • Public Health Agency of Government of Canada. (September 4th, 2018). Skin Cancer, Canada. Available from:
  • Black, H. S., deGruijl, F. R., Forbes, P. D., Cleaver, J. E., Ananthaswamy, H. N., deFabo, E. C., Ullrich, S. E., & Tyrrell, R. M. (1997). Photocarcinogenesis: an overview. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology, 40(1), 29–47. Available from: