Skin Cancers due to Sun Exposure

Exposure to sun causes nonmelanoma cancers and melanoma of the skin. But the evidence of the role of sun exposure in causation of nonmelanoma (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) is more direct than in melanoma. As approximately 80% of nonmelanoma skin cancers develop on exposed parts of body, including the face, the neck, and the hands. So for maintaining patients’ health state of skin health it is better to avoid sun as much as possible.

Risk factors of skin cancer:

Major risk factors of skin cancer are male sex, childhood sun exposures, older age, fair skin (white race), and residence at latitudes closer to the equator. Whites of darker complexions (like Hispanics) have one-tenth the risk of developing skin cancers compared to fair-skinned individuals. Blacks are at substantially reduced risk for all forms of skin cancer.

Demography of skin cancer:

More than 1.3 million individuals in the United States develop skin cancer (mainly nonmelanoma) annually. The lifetime risk for Whites to develop skin neoplasm is estimated at to be approximately 15%. A worrying factor is that, the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the population (mainly in the US) is increasing at the rate of 2–3% per year, but the reason for this increase in unknown. A potential explanation is the widespread use of indoor tanning and the estimation is that 30 million people tan indoors in the United States annually, which include more than 2 million adolescents. This indoor tanning booths are affecting health state of many Americans adversely.

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