How do you get skin cancer?


Quick Answer

Skin cancer occurs commonly among people who spend a lot of time in the sun, especially without wearing skin protection, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. Fair-skinned people and those who use tanning beds are at an elevated risk of contracting the disease.

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Full Answer

Individuals with a history of skin cancer in their immediate families are more likely to develop the cancer themselves, as are people who have had a few intense sunburns during their lives that blistered. Skin cancer is more common in people whose skin does not tan easily in the sun, especially if they have more than 50 moles on their bodies. Once a person develops skin cancer for the first time, the likelihood that individual will experience a recurrence is elevated, notes AAD.

People who suffer from actinic keratoses are prone to developing skin cancer, because AK is a form of sun damage that often acts as a precursor to advanced health complications. X-rays expose the body to radiation, which causes cellular damage and can slowly lead to skin cancer and various other forms of cancer over a long period of time. This is especially true of people who receive several x-rays over their lifetime. Smokers run the risk of developing a type of skin cancer found in the mouth and throat, known as squamous cell carcinoma.

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