Skin cancer is one of the most common skin problems a person can experience today, with one in five Americans developing the condition at some point in their lives. While most cases are benign and can be easily removed by dermatology and skin cancer specialists, some people can develop a type called melanoma, which is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells. This means that the cancer can spread to other parts of the body, giving it an extremely high mortality rate.
There are a number of factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer and melanoma, including pale skin, light hair, light eyes, and high doses of unprotected sun exposure. However, did you know that certain diseases and disorders can also increase your chance of developing these conditions? Read on to find out if you or a loved one is at risk.
Psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red patches on the skin that may be scaly or itchy, is not a direct risk for skin cancer. However, because psoriasis is commonly treated with UV-light therapy, there may be an increased likelihood of developing non-melanoma skin cancer. Fortunately, the best dermatologists will monitor the treatment to reduce this chance. Talk to your dermatologist at your next appointment about your skin cancer risk.
A Weakened Immune System
Conditions that reduce the capabilities of a person’s immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, have been shown to have an increased likelihood of developing skin cancer. This is also true for people who have undergone organ transplants.
Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome
Many people are aware that having 50 or more moles can increase your risk of skin cancer and melanoma. But what about atypical moles? Conditions like dysplastic nevus syndrome, feature a high number of unusual moles, called nevi, which accordingly increase a person’s chance of cancer growth. There are many different types of these nevi, which vary in color, location and more. A compound dysplastic nevus, for example, are usually flat or raised and have irregular borders, which makes even a healthy compound dysplastic nevus resemble melanoma. People with these moles should visit a dermatologist clinic regularly to have their skin checked for skin cancer.
A Past History of Cancer
If you have previously had a type of cancer, including skin cancer, or have been exposed to radiation, you have a significantly higher chance of developing skin cancer or melanoma in the future. Having a family condition of melanoma can also increase your chances.
Solar or Actinic Keratosis
This condition is caused by many years of sun exposure, or a high level of sun exposure to fair skin. While the condition itself is marked by small patches of red skin that develop on the body, but it also increases your skin cancer risk. For this reason, people with this condition should take special care to protect their skin from further sun damage.
A number of things can increase your risk of skin cancer, from using tanning beds to living close to the equator. However, if proper care isn’t taken, this common condition can develop from a benign lesion into a potentially deadly disease. For this reason, whether you have a compound dysplastic nevus, actinic keratosis, or simply spend a lot of time in the sun, make sure to protect your skin from the sun and schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist to quickly identify cancerous moles. Doing so could save your life. Find out more at this site.