Skin cancer is more prevalent than any other cancer in the United States. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the more common forms of skin cancer that affect individuals. The development of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer, can be stimulated by exposure of environmental carcinogens, such as chemical toxicants or UVB. It is developed by three distinct stages: initiation, promotion, and progression. During the initiation, the fate of DNA-damaged skin cells is determined by the homeostatic regulation of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways. The imbalance or disruption of either signaling will lead to the survival of initiated cells, resulting in the development of skin cancer. In this chapter, we will discuss signaling pathways that regulate apoptosis and the impact of their dysfunction during skin tumor initiation.
Part of the book: Regulation and Dysfunction of Apoptosis