Anybody can develop skin cancer, at any age. It is most common in people over 50, or people who have had prolonged exposure to the sun, but it does still occur in less “at-risk” patients.
You are at particularly high risk of developing skin cancer if you:
- Have fair skin or are prone to sunburn
- Were sunburnt at any point during your childhood, or often as an adult
- Spend a lot of time in the sun (either for work or leisure)
- Use sunbeds
- Have more than 50 moles on the whole of your body
- Have a family history of skin cancer
- Are over the age of 50
- Have undergone an organ transplant
In addition to the above general points, there are specific risk factors that apply to the two principal skin cancer types; melanoma and non-melanoma (NMSC).
Even if you’re not considered at high risk for developing skin cancer now, it’s important that you understand the causes and the signs. The decisions you make now will affect your risk profile later in life. Being aware now may protect you later, or help you spot the signs of skin cancer in a loved one.