Thursday, 3 October 2013

Risk factors and causes of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is one of the most common cancer of all cancers. One out of two Americans develops skin cancer in his life time. About 80% of the cancers are not fatal but skin cancers like Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body and may affect life. People having fairer skin tend to develop skin cancer earlier than those have darker one. There are various risk factors and causes which are responsible for developing skin cancer and these are as follows :-

1. Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiations and Sunburn :- Ultraviolet or UV radiations in short are the main cause for skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to UV radiations can cause genetic changes in cells of skin which affect the working of skin cells and may led to formation of cancerous cells. The main source of UV radiation is sun and prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause sunburn and changes in skin cells.

2. Environment and geographical area :- Environmental conditions of a geographical area greatly affects the skin cancer. As we know that there is ozone layer which protects us from UV rays and due to environmental degradation this layer is depleting and UV rays are coming to earths surface. Areas having high pollution levels let more UV rays to reach earth led to more risk of skin cancers.

3. Color of skin :- Skin cancer also decide the extent of skin cancer. People having fair skin are more prone to skin cancer as compared to people having dark one as the people having fair skin produces melanin that is a protective skin pigment in very less amount.

4. Age :- Age is an another risk factor for skin cancer. People of old age are more prone to skin cancer than younger ones.

5. Weak immune system :- If a person already had treatment or organ transplant in his lifetime then this weakens the immune system and that body is more likely at higher risk of developing skin cancer.

6. Drugs and medicines used for other diseases :- There are certain drugs such as thiopurines which are used to treat inflammatory diseases, consumption of which increases the risk of skin cancer.

7. Chemical exposure :- Exposure to certain chemicals such as coal tar, soot, pitch, asphalt, creosote, paraffin wax, petroleum products, arsenic and many more chemicals are responsible for having skin cancer.

8. Radiation therapy and past history :- If a person have undergone radiation therapy or you have some past history of any type of skin cancer then that person is at more risk than those who does not have any past history of skin cancer.

Cancer Research Uk
Cancer Quest
Cancer Council Australia
Stanford Cancer Institute

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