Skin Cancer

Risk factors involved in skin cancer

A risk factor for cancer refers to anything that can increase the chances of a person developing Skin Cancer. Certain risk factors like exposure to sunlight can be controlled. Others, like the age of a person or his family history, cannot be changed. However, even having many risk factors does not guarantee that a person will surely develop cancer. Many people who have developed cancer might not have any of the known risk factors. Below are a few risk factors for skin cancer:

  • Ultraviolet light: The main source of Ultraviolet radiation or UV radiation is sunlight. It can damage the genes of the skin cells. UV light is a major risk factor for Skin Cancer. Tanning lamps are also a source of UV radiation. High amounts of exposure to UV radiation results in a higher risk of developing Skin Cancer symptoms. Spending a lot of time outdoors without using sunscreen can increase the risk of developing cancer. People living in places with bright sunlight throughout the year have a higher chance of developing Skin Cancer.
  • Fair Skin: The risk of developing symptoms of Skin Cancer is higher for fair-complexioned people as compared to dark-complexioned people. Melanin present in dark-complexioned skin is known to protect against UV radiation. This reduces a major risk factor. People with fair skin have a higher probability of developing Skin Cancer.
  • Older age: The risk of squamous and basal Skin Cancer types increases as people grow older.
  • Chemicals: Frequent exposure to large amounts of arsenic increases the chances of developing Skin Cancer. People exposed to tar and paraffin are at an increased risk as well.
  • Psoriasis Treatment: Patients with psoriasis are treated with UV light. This increases the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. People who have had other radiation treatments are also more likely to develop Skin Cancer.
  • Long-term skin problems: Certain scars from bad burns or skin damaged due to various skin diseases increase the chances of developing Skin Cancer.
  • History of skin cancer: 20% of the patients who have a history of Skin Cancer are more likely to develop second Skin Cancer within two years.