In many cases the occurrence of many cancers simply cannot be explained. This is not the case of skin cancer. This type of cancer is strongly related to sun exposure, to be more precise to its harmful ultraviolet rays. Even though all the media warn on harmful effects of prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight many people opt for darker tan and refuse to stay away from the sun.
What are Risks for Skin Cancer?
Apart from sun exposure skin cancer may be also induced by chronic exposure to certain chemicals. This type of cancer may be occupational and effect people whose jobs carry risk of skin exposure to harmful substances. However, the sun remains the most significant contributor to skin cancer. People with fair complexion are more susceptible to skin cancer since their skin does not possess sufficient amount of melanin, a skin pigment. Still, this does not mean that people with darker tan cannot be affected. Higher incidence of skin cancer is reported in people who have a history of prolonged exposure to sun whether this is associated with aesthetic reasons or a connected with specific professions.
Skin Cancer Prevention
There are three types of skin cancer and they include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The first two are classified as non-melanoma skin carcinomas. Unlike melanoma which is considered a very aggressive type of skin cancer basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma have better prognosis and the treatment is much more successful. This particularly refers to highly curable basal cell carcinoma.
Prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, includes reduction if not elimination, of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This reduction refers to both, exposure to the sun and exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation such as tanning booths and sun lamps.
If one simply cannot reduce exposure he/she is supposed to change patterns of outdoor activities and wear proper protective clothing (clothes with long sleeves and hats). Exposed parts of the body such as hands need to be covered with adequate amount of protective sunscreen. And the eyes are supposed to be covered with UV protecting sun glasses. These protective measures are beneficial for all people, particularly those who burn easily once they are exposed to the sun.
It is not known for sure whether avoiding sunburns may reduce the occurrence of melanoma. Still this is considered a contributor to this type of cancer. Sunburns can be effectively prevented with all the previously mentioned protective measures. The risk for melanoma is generally increased in people who have large number of abnormal moles. This is why occasional examination of suspicious moles is one of the measures in timely diagnosing and treatment of melanoma.