Skin cancer risk factors

  • If you are fair skinned: Anyone, no matter what their skin colour can get skin cancer.  However the less skin pigmentation you have the less protection you will have against the damaging UV rays.  If you have light hair or red hair, burn easily and have freckles, or you have light coloured eyes, you are much more likely to develop skin cancer than a person with a darker complexion.
  • Having a history of sunburn: If your skin has burnt blisters from the sun as a child or a teenager, your chances of getting skin cancer are greater as an adult.  Even if you get sunburnt as an adult, you risk getting skin cancer.
  • Excessive sun exposure: the more you are exposed to the sun without applying sunscreen, the more you have a chance of developing skin cancer.  It is not only UV rays from the sun that can cause skin cancer, but sun beds and tan lamps also cause skin cancer.  A tan is your skins injury response to excessive UV radiation.
  • Sunny climates or high-altitude climates: people who live in countries with lots of sunny days are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer to those who live in cooler climates.  Also in areas where you live in high altitudes, and where the sunlight is the strongest, you will be more at risk to skin cancer.
  • Moles: people who have allot of moles or people who have abnormal moles (dysplastic nevi) are at risk to develop skin cancer.  Moles that look irregular and are bigger than normal moles are more likely to become cancerous. If there is a history of abnormal moles, please keep a close eye on them for any changes.
  • Precancerous skin lesions: skin lesions (actinic keratoses) can increase your risk of cancer.  There appearance is scaly or rough patches and have various colours ranging from brown to dark pink.  They are more commonly found on the hands, head or face of a fair skinned person, whose skin has been damaged by the sun.
  • A family history of skin cancer:  if anyone in your family has had skin cancer the chances are great that you will be at risk also.
  • A personal history of skin cancer: if you have had skin cancer once already you have a higher risk of developing it again.
  • A weakened immune system: people who take immunosuppressant drugs after having organ transplant surgery or someone with HIV/AIDS are at great risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation: if you are receiving radiation treatment for a skin condition like eczema or acne, particularly basal cell carcinoma, you may have a greater risk of getting skin cancer.
  • Exposure to certain substances: if you are exposed to certain substances such as arsenic, you increase your risk of skin cancer.

newspaper templates - theme rewards