The most important part of being cancer-aware and promoting your health is making sure you’re getting yourself screened appropriately. This is especially true for skin cancer, which is the fifth most common cancer. Prevention and early detection are the best defense we have against cancer at the moment because of the exponential progression of the disease.
That being said, you may be wondering, “What is my skin cancer risk?” That question is what we’ll help you answer. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the top skin cancer risks so you can be aware.
Top Skin Cancer Risks
Light Skin Color
People who are lighter skin have less melanin in their skin. Melanin is a protective pigment in your skin that mitigates the effects of UV radiation. Since UV radiation is the primary cause of skin cancer, having more melanin reduces your risk. However, any skin color or tone can develop skin cancer.
Genetic or Personal History
If you have a genetic history or a personal history of skin cancer, then you are more likely to develop it in your life. This is because of the way cancer is formed. Cancer is formed by mistakes in the DNA that multiply themselves and become cancerous. You are more likely to have the same kind of DNA mistake happen if it’s happened before or has happened to a family member.
UV exposure is one of the greatest causes and risk factors for skin cancer. This is because UV radiation from the sun can damage your DNA and cause it to replicate and potentially lead to cancer. The higher the amount of damage, the higher the chance for DNA errors. Thankfully, UV exposure can be mitigated through various means. You can limit exposure to the sun, wear sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds and any product or device that emits UV light.
Prevent, Screen, Treat
It can feel uncomfortable knowing that you naturally may have a higher risk for skin cancer, but understanding your skin is a valuable tool to have. It lets you know that it’s best to have screening done more often than normal. That way, any potential skin cancer can be caught early and dealt with appropriately. Our team at Harris Dermatology provides skin cancer screenings and dermatology services to make sure you’re ahead of whatever cancer could throw at you.
Our knowledgeable staff makes it their mission to keep you in the know and help you through every step of preventing, screening, and treating skin cancer. So make your first screening appointment and contact Harris Dermatology today at 239-936-3344 for the Fort Myers office and at 239-596-1848 for the Naples office.