Thinking of skin cancer, one immediately blames the sun, but it is not the only factor that results in skin cancer. Dr. Sherrif Ibrahim, dermatology’s assistant professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center says that sun exposure indeed is the biggest factor that causes skin cancer and that happens to be a cumulative risk; the more the exposure, the bigger is the risk. This is important knowledge, particularly when summer has officially begun.
According to the American Cancer Society, each year in the U.S. over 3.5M basal as well as squamous cancers of the skin, known as those that are non-melanoma, are diagnosed. These skin cancer types are not much deadly as is melanoma that affects around 75000 residents of the U.S. each year. Around 9000 people pass away due to melanomas and about 2000 from skin cancers that are non-melanoma each year.
Though it isn’t the sun only that is problematic. Certain chemicals, other diseases, tattoos, and even light bulbs considered better for the environment are linked with skin cancer.
Also, the people thinking that tanning beds tend to be safer compared to soaking the sun up should ponder over it again, as suggested by Ibrahim. He said that there is a large increase in the popularity of the tanning booths; also that with it, people’s average age with melanomas happens to be much lower as much as 22 years.
That is because it does not matter if U.V. light comes due to the sun or any artificial source. A professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Alan Fleischer, explained that light’s kind that is produced by the tanning beds is not worse or better compared to natural sunshine, though people might get longer and more exposure. Even getting a manicure could expose one to U.V. light.
Dermatologists suggest applying sunscreen on hands before the manicure even, though the risk tends to be quite small.
Even those things which look unrelated to the UV light, like getting an organ transplant as well as a tattoo, or any autoimmune disease, are linked to the diagnosis of skin cancer.
The people who have organ transplants have an extremely raised risk of skin cancer, around 200 times higher compared to others, says Ibrahim.
That stems from medications that should be taken prior to transplant for suppressing the immune system. The immune system, as consequence, that normally fights the growing cells of cancer, might not be quite strong for doing its job.
The recipients of organ transplants need to talk to their dermatologist for getting an idea of the baseline risk regarding skin cancer to find how often it is that they need screening.
Though tattoos are not known to elevate skin cancer risk, they could make it hard to detect the changes related to cancer in moles. In case you are thinking about tattoos, you should make sure that there are not any moles over areas that you think about inking, according to the experts.
Like the people who had an organ transplant, the ones with autoimmune diseases mostly take medications that suppress the immune system. Such drugs could also increase the chances of having skin cancer developed, according to Fleischer.
The other sources of risk of skin cancer are also pointed out by experts, including:
- Previous Radiation: Cancer areas that have been quite exposed to the radiation, like those used for the treatment of the other cancer types, have increased skin cancer risk.
- Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: Such eco-friendly bulbs emit UV light which isn’t any problem as bulbs are coated but where the coating gets cracked, UV light could come through.
- Parkinson’s Disease: There is increased melanoma risk in people having Parkinson’s disease. It is suspected that the genes which cause this disease might cause skin cancer too, according to one study in Archives of Neurology.
- Smoking: A link between skin cancer and cigarette smoking was also suspected by researchers. Studies have shown that cancer of squamous cells was much common in smokers compared to non-smokers.
- Chemical Exposure: Exposure at the workplace to some specific chemicals could increase the risk of non-melanoma cancers of the skin. Such chemicals also include arsenic that’s naturally found in the water in well and is much used in the manufacture of certain pesticides, and also coal, tar, paraffin, and also some oil types.
- Driving: According to Fleischer, in the U.S., skin cancers tend to be common on the left body side and in Europe, the right side, due to time spent while driving. He also suspects that the people regularly driving convertibles are likely to have higher skin cancer rates due to increased exposure.
Ibrahim and Fleischer both recommend using sunscreen, avoiding the sun at midday, wearing an outside hat that’s wide-brimmed, and seeking shade, for sun happens to be the biggest risk factor when it comes to skin cancer. It’s also wise to find a quality dermatologist to help with your questions and concerns. Find a reputable doctor to help you, such as the fine folks at the dermatology offices in Gilbert. With a clean, efficient, and friendly office, the doctors there can help with all your skincare needs. They’re knowledge combined with years of experience make them one of the best dermatology offices in Arizona today.