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Causes of Skin Cancer and What You Can Do to Avoid Them

In our sun-loving society, we all understand the importance of avoiding the risks of skin cancer. We know that there is a definite relationship between UV exposure and the development of skin cancer. The causation also depends on what kind of exposure is experienced, the type of a person’s skin, and the type of skin cancer.

Light Skin

Almost anybody can develop skin cancer; however, some are more prone to it than others. Those people at higher risks of skin cancer have lighter skin, hair and eyes and are at higher risk due to the fact they have less melanin in the skin. Melanin is helpful in protecting the skin.

UV Exposure from Tanning Beds

While direct sun exposure is the primary causes of skin cancer, it can also be caused by the UV light from tanning beds. In fact, this type of UV exposure can be just as risky. Additionally, many people incorrectly think that sunlight exposure during winter months is less than summer months. In fact, the risk is the same whether it is winter or summer.

Lesser Known Causes

Other less common causes of skin cancer can be scars, burns or disease. Repeated exposure to X-rays can also place a person at risk, as can some occupational exposure to some types of chemicals.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancer — melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell and basal cell are less serious and make up the majority of skin cancer cases. These are also highly curable when caught and properly treated in early stages.

Melanoma is much more serious and is the cause of up to 75% of deaths from skin cancer. If it is not treated, the cancer cells can spread to other organs, making it very difficult to control.

Other At-Risk Groups

In addition to those with lighter complexions, other people at risk include those with a family or personal history, those working outdoors, or who live in a particularly sunny climate. Also, those who have experienced severe sunburns early in life and those who have large, irregular moles are at a high risk.

The most obvious thing you can do to lower your risk of skin cancer is to use tips such as using sunscreen and avoiding the sun during the times when UV exposure can be high. Additionally, avoid using tanning beds. And if you are in a higher risk group, you should do monthly skin checks for early skin cancer signs.

Contact Dr. Wright today for more information about Skin Cancer and it’s causes!