What is Your Risk?

Anyone can develop skin cancer. However, the likelihood of developing skin cancer increases with age and when you have one or more of the risk factors on this checklist:

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History of exposure to UV rays from the sun, tanning beds, or sun lamps - whether intermittent or year round, even if the exposure was years ago
 

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Had several sunburns or experienced severe, especially blistering, sunburns
 

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Live in a geographic region receiving high-intensity sunlight, such as Florida, Caribbean, or northern Australia
 

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Fair skin, especially when the person has blond or red hair and blue, green, or gray eyes
 

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Sun sensitive or tendency to burn or freckle rather than tan
 

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Close blood relative has/had melanoma, several more-distant relatives have a history of melanoma, or a family history of other skin cancers
 

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Personal history of skin cancer
 

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One or more atypical mole
 

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50-plus moles
 

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Diagnosed with actinic keratoses
 

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Overexposure or long-term exposure to x-rays, including patients who received x-ray treatments for acne
 

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Long-term treatment with immunosuppressive medication, such as those used to prevent organ rejection or treat severe arthritis
 

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Weakened immune system caused by a disease, such as lymphoma or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
 

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Xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare inherited condition that makes one less able to repair damage caused by sunlight

 

If you have any of the above risk factors, it is important that you:

  • Perform regular self-examinations of your skin to check for suspicious moles and other lesions that may be skin cancer

  • See a dermatologist for regular examinations

  • Practice sun protection

You may want to print out this page and check off each of the risk factors that apply to determine your own risk factors.


All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The cause of most skin cancer is known exposure to excessive ultraviolet (UV) light.

American Academy of Dermatology

Risk Factors: Basal Cell Carcinoma

Risk Factors: Melanoma

Risk Factors: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Who is Most at Risk for Melanoma?

 

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