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Skin Cancer Risk Factors 

Skin cancer is a multifactorial disease; several factors may contribute to its development. The most common factors that are linked to the onset of skin cancer include:  

  • Age - risk of skin cancer increases with age 
  • exposure to ultraviolet light  
  • family history of skin cancer  
  • personal history of skin cancer  
  • excessive sun exposure  
  • previous radiotherapy 
  • exposure to chemicals that irritate or attack your skin cells 
  • history of sunburn  
  • having many benign moles (dysplastic nevi) 
  • chronic precancerous skin lesions such as rough and scaly patches  
  • weakened immune system  
  • certain professions such as welder and boilermakers 
  • outdoor workers: farmers, construction workers, etc..  
  • prolonged exposure to environmental chemicals such as herbicides  
  • some genetic diseases of the skin: albinism, xeroderma pigmentosa, etc.. 
  • Living at high altitudes or near the South Pole - the highest incidence of melanoma is found in Australia and New Zealand.



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