Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of cancer cells. Most commonly, it occurs on the skin exposed to the sunlight. But it can also occur on the surface not exposed to the sun.
The three common types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Skin cancer, if detected at earlier stages, can lead to successful treatment. Therefore you must check your skin for any changes so that it can be diagnosed at earlier stages.
To reduce the risk of skin cancer, you must protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. It is a good idea to keep your skin covered as much as you can and protect it from sunlight.
What Are The Risk Factors For Skin Cancer?
Factors that can increase the risk of skin cancer are:
Having A Fair Skin
Regardless of skin color, anyone can get skin cancer. However, a factor that can increase the risk of skin cancer is having less melanin- a pigment that imparts color to your skin. Melanin protects against ultraviolet rays. Therefore if you have less melanin, the risk for skin cancer increases.
If you have red or blonde hair, light-colored eyes, and develop freckles with ease, you are at increased risk of developing skin cancer compared to those who have darker skin.
History of Sunburns
People who are prone to developing sunburns as a child and adult are at increased risk of developing skin cancer compared to those who are not.
Excessive Exposure to Sun
Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that can increase the risk of skin cancer. If you get excessive exposure to sunlight and do not cover your skin or wear sunscreen, you may be at increased risk of developing skin cancer.
If you work outdoors where there is a lot of exposure to sunlight, do not forget to cover your body as much as you can and do that with a light color fabric. Dark colors absorb sunlight. Therefore they will make you feel warm.
Under sunlight, you should also not forget to wear sunscreen. It can protect your skin from damage up to some extent. When you become tan, it shows damage to your skin that should not happen.
High altitudes or Sunny Climate
People who live in places where there is more sunlight and warm temperature are at increased risk of developing skin cancer because of long-term exposure to sunlight.
At higher elevations, sunlight is greatest which increases the risk of skin cancer.
Family History of Skin Cancer
Having a family history of skin cancer can put you at risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore if you have a family history, you should observe your skin for any changes. Moreover, wear sunscreen while going out and cover yourself with fabric.
Personal History of Skin Cancer
If you have had skin cancer once, the risk for its recurrence may increase. You may develop it sometime later in life. Therefore observe your skin closely for any changes even if you have recovered from it.
Weakened Immune System
People who have weak immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or those who take immunosuppressant’s for the long term, such as corticosteroids are at risk of developing skin cancer. However, that does not mean that you will develop it for sure. But the risk increases. Therefore you must cover yourself properly while going out and wear sunscreen.
Exposure to Certain Chemicals
Getting exposed to certain chemicals such as arsenic can increase the risk of skin cancer.
If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, you need to visit the healthcare provider for follow-up visits. To get expert advice, you can consult with Oncologist in Karachi.