Are You At Risk?

Anyone can develop skin cancer. However, the risk is higher for some.

Anyone can develop skin cancer. However, the risk is higher for some:

  • People with fair skin or freckly skin, with blond or red hair, and with light-coloured eyes.
  • People who burn easily.
  • People with a large number of moles on their skin.
  • People who spend a lot of time outdoors (such as outdoor workers).
  • People with a past history of skin cancer.
  • People with a family history of skin cancer.
  • People who take medication that makes them more sensitive to the sun.
  • People who use tanning beds.

While skin cancer is more common in people with fair skin, people with all skin types and colours can develop skin cancer. Skin cancer in people with darker skin is often detected at a more advanced stage and so the outcomes tend to be more serious.

Research shows a 59% increased risk of melanoma when tanning bed use starts before the age of 35.

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The most significant preventable risk factor for developing skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial tanning beds.

Sources

  • Boniol M, Autier P, Boyle P, Gandini S. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2012; 345: e4757
  • Wehner M, Shive M, Chren M, Han J, Qureshi A, Linos E. Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2012; 345: e5909.
  • Gandini S, Sera F, Cattaruzza MS, Pasquini P, Picconi O, Boyle P, Melchi CF. Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: II. Sun exposure. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Jan;41(1):45-60.
  • Agbai O. N., Buster, K., Sanchez, M., Hernandez, C., Kundu, R. V., Chiu, M. et al. (2014). Skin cancer and photoprotection in people of color: a review and recommendations for physicians and the public. J Am Acad Derm 70, 748-62.

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