Few of the skin cancer risks cannot be controlled no matter how much we want to. After all, we have no control over our inherited genes and our advancing age as well as the appearance of moles on our bodies.
However, there are many skin cancer risks that we can actually control. As such, our health rests on the adoption of perfectly acceptable, reasonable and affordable ways to protect our skin from the ravages of skin cancer.
What are the Uncontrollable Risks?
If you have fair skin, you are more likely to get skin cancer than people with darker skin tones. This is not sufficient reason to patronize tanning beds in an effort to get darker skin since we are talking about natural instead of acquired skin color.
Aside from wrinkles, we are also at more risk from skin cancer as we age mainly because many forms of skin cancer develop slowly. Add in skin damage during your childhood or adolescent years and you may be looking at still higher risks.
Yet another uncontrollable risk factor is family history of skin cancer. If your parents and relatives have the disease, prepare yourself because you have higher risks than the general population.
This is especially true if your family belongs to the relatively rare sector of the populace with familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome.
What Are the Controllable Risks?
Luckily for us, there are many of the skin cancer risks that we can actually control. We are talking about things that you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer even if you have fair skin, or you are older, or you have a family history of the disease.
Most experts agree that excessive sun exposure is the most avoidable risk for all types of skin cancer. If you spend considerable amounts of time under the sun - with little to no protection - then you have every reason to be afraid of the cancerous consequences.
Also, living in areas with sunny climates as well as in high-latitude areas means more exposure to the sun's radiation. Although you may not be able to transfer residences just yet, you should take extra measures in sun protection.
If you somehow bypassed skin cancer during the first round of sun overexposure and just got sunburn, don't thank your lucky stars just yet.
Keep in mind that sunburns are the skin's reaction to ultraviolet damage. The more sunburns you had as a child or as a teenager, the more likely you will develop skin cancer later in life.
And if you survived skin cancer, don't fall into the trap that you have acquired immunity from the disease. Not only is there no such thing and skin cancer is also more likely to recur in persons who have had them in the past.
It also pays to watch out against medications that lower resistance against ultraviolet rays (UV rays), diseases like medications for leukemia that lead to a weakened immune system and exposure to environmental hazards like pesticides.
When you know of the many skin cancer risks , you have better opportunities to protect yourself against them. Ultimately, your skin and body will thank you for your vigilance, not to mention your pockets as well.
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