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Choice Cancer Care explains the various risk factors for skin cancer

Understanding the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Irving, TX – June 14, 2020 –Skin cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the epidermis grow uncontrollably due to unrepaired damage to DNA. This triggers mutations that cause skin cells to multiply and form malignant tumors. Skin cancer usually appears in places where the skin is exposed repeatedly to the sun for a long time. They include the face, back of the neck, ears, nose, and any bald area of the scalp. The tumors can also appear on other parts with limited skin exposure such as the chest and the back.

“Most skin cancers are formed in the cells of the epidermis, and they rarely spread to other parts of the body,” says Choice Cancer Care “Also, not everyone with a risk factor for skin cancer develops the disease. But it’s vital to know your risk factors so you can take appropriate measures for prevention and treatment.”

Here are the risk factors associated with skin cancer:

  • Exposure to UV light – Ultraviolet light comes from direct sunlight and indoor tanning beds. UV affects people with hazel or blue eyes, blond or red hair, and individuals who are fair-skinned. The risk increases when you live in areas near the equator where there’s intense sunlight exposure.
  • Ultraviolet rays damage DNA in skin cells and cause harmful genetic mutations. The mutations cause uncontrolled cell growth, leading to cancer. Frequent sunburns, long term, and intermittent sun exposure and indoor tanning cause different types of skin cancers. Protect yourself by staying away from the sun, using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding indoor tanning beds.
  • Your age – Since sun exposure builds up over time, skin cancer can affect you when you are older (between 55 and 64 years). Most melanomas and squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed in older patients. 
  • Moles – Almost all adults have moles that are not cancerous. However, those who have many moles are at high risk. Atypical moles, known as dysplastic nevi, appear on the scalp, neck, and torso and have an unusual color and shape. They often run in families and put you at high risk for skin cancer. Congenital moles are also a risk factor for melanoma.

If you are at high risk for skin cancer such as family history, you should talk to your doctor about screening. Early detection is the only way to ensure early and effective treatment.

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