A risk factor is anything that increases your likelihood of developing a disease like cancer. When it comes to skin cancer risk factors, many of these risks can be addressed by you.
Sunburn hurts you in more ways than one. The danger goes far beyond any short-term pain, redness and discomfort, because after the sunburn fades, lasting damage remains.
Sunburn accelerates skin aging and is a leading cause in the majority of cases of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Tanning outside or indoors can have dangerous consequences. While often associated with good health, the “glow” of a tan is the very opposite of healthy; it’s evidence of DNA injury to your skin. Tanning damages your skin cells and speeds up visible signs of aging. Worst of all, tanning can lead to skin cancer.
It’s a fact: There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Tanning increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Your best defense is to avoid tanning altogether.
- A majority of non melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) and a large percentage of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
- UV exposure is a powerful attack on the skin, creating damage that can range from premature wrinkles to dangerous skin cancer.
- Damage from UV exposure is cumulative and increases your skin cancer risk over time. While your body can repair some of the DNA damage in skin cells, it can’t repair all of it. The unrepaired damage builds up over time and triggers mutations that cause skin cells to multiply rapidly. That can lead to malignant tumors.
- The degree of damage depends on the intensity of UV rays and the length of time your skin has been exposed without protection. Location is also a factor. The UV index measures the intensity of UV radiation at a specific location. If you live where the sun is strong year-round, your exposure level and risk increases.
- You can easily reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer by protecting yourself against UV radiation.
Provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation