Risk factors for skin cancer - how do you rank?


Patients Skin cancer

1 reply


Topic of the discussion

• Community manager
Posted on

According to the Cancer Center, the common skin cancer risk factors are: 

General Risk Factors

Age: Skin cancer risks increase as you age, which is likely due to accumulated exposure to UV radiation. 

Immune suppression: Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as viruses, diseases or immune suppression therapy associated with organ transplantation, may increase skin cancer risks.

Gender: Men are approximately 2x more likely to develop basal cell carcinomas and 3x more likely to develop squamous cell carcinomas than women.

Body Risk Factors

Skin tone: Caucasians have a greater risk of developing skin cancer than non-whites, with a greater risk in individuals with blond or red hair, blue or green eyes, or skin that burns or freckles easily.

Moles: Most moles are harmless and may never develop into cancer, but having a large number of moles may increase the risk for developing melanoma. 

Genetics Risk Factors

Family and/or personal history: Individuals with one or more parents or siblings with skin cancer may be at increased risk. Individuals who have previously been diagnosed with skin cancer are also at increased risk for developing the disease again.

Inherited conditions: Conditions that affect the skin's ability to protect or repair UV damage are at increased risk for developing skin cancers, and may develop them at an earlier age.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Smoking: Smokers are more likely to develop squamous cell skin cancers, particularly on the lips.

Chemical exposure: Certain chemicals, including arsenic, industrial tar, coal, paraffin and certain types of oil, may increase the risk for certain types of non-melanoma skin cancers.

UV exposure: the risk of skin cancer increases with increased expsoure to UV light, including from sunlight and tanning beds; the risk is greater for those who do not wear protective clothing or sunscreen.

Previous Treatment Risk Factors

Radiation exposure: Treatment with radiation may increase the risk for developing skin cancers in the exposed area.

Psoriasis treatment: Individuals who have been treated for psoriasis with a combination of psoralen, a natural remedy, and ultraviolet light treatment may have an increased risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer.

How about you?

Do you or did you share any of these risk factors? ... Share and discuss

Beginning of the discussion - 7/2/19

Risk factors for skin cancer - how do you rank?

Posted on

Hi Lee, I am enjoying looking through the forums here.

I have currently 6 factors from those you listed: age (in my late 40s), Caucasian, have many moles (don't know exact number), when I was younger had very high UV exposure, and family history of skin cancer. I also had skin cancer before :(

Most commented discussions