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The risk of developing cancer is often handed down as our genes also play a significant role in skin cancer. Anyone who knows of cases of the disease in their own family and has one of the higher-risk skin types ( types I and II) should take the precaution of going for an annual check-up.
A very important ( and most importantly preventable ) risk factor for developing skin cancer is sun and UV exposure. These are some simple prevention rules concerning sun exposure (tips)
- But can melanoma be prevented?
The genetically determined risk factors for melanoma, such as having a fair complexion, numerous moles and a family history of melanoma, cannot be modified or eradicated. However, we can significantly reduce the risk of developing melanoma by prevention of sun exposure .
- Additional risk factors: Cosmetics and medicines
Certain medicines increase sensitivity to light. This is something that should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist before exposing oneself to the sun.
Also long lasting immunosuppressive treatment such as the one people with organ transplant receive increase the risk of developing a skin cancer.
Deodorants, cosmetics and perfumes can cause an unpleasant reaction to the sun or permanent pigmentation. Application of such products should therefore be avoided immediately before sunbathing.