Skin cancer’s primary cause is ultraviolet radiation – most often from the sun, but also from artificial sources like sunlamps and tanning booths. Researchers believe that tanning, an increase in outdoor activities, and perhaps the thinning of the earth’s protective ozone layer are behind the alarming rise we’re now seeing in skin cancers.
Anyone can get skin cancer – it does not matter what your skin type, race or age, no matter where you live or what you do.
Your risk is greater if:
- You have fair skin that freckles easily
- You have light-colored hair and eyes
- You have a large number of moles, or moles of unusual size or shape
- You have a family history of skin cancer or a personal history of blistering sunburn
- You spend a lot of time working or playing outdoors
- You live closer to the equator, at a higher altitude, or in any place that gets intense, year-round sunshine
- You received therapeutic radiation treatments for adolescent acne