Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies for Skin Cancer

Our application can help you detect skin cancer but taking prevention strategies and being mindful of risk factors will help you protect from skin cancer in the long run. So, in this Blog I will be talking about several Risk factors that are associated with Skin Cancer and some prevention strategies based on some previous studies and research that were done earlier during the internship.


Factors that may increase the risk of skin cancer include: 

  1. Fair skin: Anyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer. However, having less melanin in your skin provides less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair and light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily, you’re much more likely to develop skin cancer than is a person with darker skin.
  2. A history of sunburns: Having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns in adulthood also are a risk factor. 
  3. Excessive sun exposure: Anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if the skin is not protected by sunscreen or clothing. A tan is your skin’s injury response to excessive UV radiation.
  4. Sunny or high-altitude climates: People who live in sunny, warm climates are exposed to more sunlight than are people who live in colder climates. Living at higher elevations also exposes you to more radiation. 
  5. Moles: People who have many moles or abnormal moles are at increased risk of skin cancer. These abnormal moles which look irregular and are generally larger than normal moles are more likely than others to become cancerous. If you have a history of abnormal moles, watch them carefully for changes. 
  6. A family history of skin cancer: If one of your parents or a sibling has had skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease. 
  7. A personal history of skin cancer: If you developed skin cancer once, you are at risk of developing it again.
  8. A weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems have a greater risk of developing skin cancer.
  9. Exposure to radiation: People who received radiation treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and acne may have an increased risk of skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinoma. 
  10. Exposure to certain substances: Exposure to certain substances, such as arsenic, may increase your risk of skin cancer.                        

    Prevention Strategies
  11.  For many people in North America, the sun’s rays are strongest between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day, even in winter or when the sky is cloudy. You absorb UV radiation year-round, and clouds offer little protection from damaging rays. Avoiding the sun at its strongest helps you avoid the sunburns Sun exposure accumulated over time also may cause skin cancer. 
  12. Sunscreen play a major role in an overall sun protection program. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days.
  13. Sunscreens don’t provide complete protection from UV rays.  Cover your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than a baseball cap or visor does.Do not forget sunglasses. Look for those that block both types of UV radiation UVA and UVB rays. 
  14.  Lights used in tanning beds emit UV rays and can increase your risk of skin cancer. 
  15. Some common prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you take. If they increase your sensitivity to sunlight, take extra precautions to stay out of the sun to protect your skin. 
  16. Examine your skin regularly for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps, and birthmarks. 

Akansha Kaushik

Data Scientist

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