23 Apr Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
Spectrum Dermatology encourages everyone, no matter their risk factor, to opt for a yearly skin exam. Every year, nearly an additional 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma—the deadliest form of any cancer. However, the good news is that any skin cancer, including melanoma, is easy to treat when caught early. Only a dermatologist can diagnose and test for skin cancer.
Although anyone can get skin cancer, there are some risk factors that make certain people more prone to cancer than others. One is family history. If someone in your immediate family was diagnosed with skin cancer, it’s even more important for you to stick to those annual skin checks. However, also keep in mind that during your parents’ generation, not as much was known about skin cancer. Some skin cancers can take several years to become deadly. It’s possible that your parents had un-diagnosed skin cancer and you could be at a higher risk than you think.
Another factor is sun damage. The more sun damage you’ve sustained over your lifetime, the higher your chances of developing skin cancer. This is especially true for severe sunburns. Melanoma, in particular, is linked to a history of intense sunburns. However, regular unprotected exposure to the sun—even if you tan and don’t burn—is also a factor in skin cancer. If you had a childhood that didn’t involve sunscreen or don’t use sunscreen as an adult, you have a higher risk factor for skin cancer.
Living in sunny regions will also make you more prone to skin cancer. In Arizona, the sun is shining every day of the year. A lot of people choose to try and keep cool by wearing shorts and sleeveless tops year-round. Remember that sunscreen can only do so much. Wearing layers is an added protection against the sun. So, if you live in Arizona, not only are you facing an increased risk of sun exposure every day, you’re also making a bigger gamble if you regularly sport bare skin.
Schedule Your Yearly Skin Exam at Spectrum Dermatology Today!
Schedule your skin check today. Call Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400.