Beyond Sun Exposure: Examining Lesser-Known Causes of Skin Cancer

Beyond Sun Exposure: Examining Lesser-Known Causes of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer globally. It affects millions of people every year, with the majority of cases caused by long-term sun exposure. However, there are other lesser-known factors that can increase the risk of skin cancer.


Genetics can play a role in the development of skin cancer. Individuals with a family history of skin cancer are at a higher risk. Studies have found that people with mutations in specific genes are more susceptible to this disease. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor if you have a family history of skin cancer.


As you age, your skin becomes more vulnerable to skin cancer. With time, the accumulated damage from the sun and other factors like pollution, free radicals, and other chemicals can cause DNA mutations that lead to cancer. As a result, adults over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Weakened Immune System

A weakened immune system can also increase your risk of skin cancer. People living with HIV/AIDS, transplant recipients, and those undergoing treatment for cancer are all at a higher risk. The immune system is responsible for scanning the body and attacking foreign invaders, including cancer cells. A weakened immune system is less effective at fighting off cancer, which can lead to the development of skin cancer.

Certain Medications

Some medications taken for other conditions like arthritis, depression, and high blood pressure can also increase the risk of skin cancer. These drugs can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and UV radiation, making it more prone to damage and cancer development. It is essential to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, their dosage, and any side effects you experience.

Artificial Tanning

Using tanning beds or lamps has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer. Frequent use of tanning beds exposes the skin to intense UV radiation, which causes damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. A report by the World Health Organization states that people who use tanning beds regularly are between 15% and 75% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never used them.

In conclusion, skin cancer is sadly a common disease, but it is preventable. Understanding the lesser-known causes of skin cancer and taking the necessary precautions can go a long way in reducing the risk. Protecting your skin from the sun, avoiding tanning beds, and early detection are essential steps in preventing skin cancer. Regular skin checks with your doctor should be done to detect any changes and abnormal growths on the skin early. Stay informed and vigilant, and always prioritize your health.

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