Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer.Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.Being exposed to ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer.Some studies suggest that being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the sensitivity of a person's skin to UV radiation are risk factors for skin cancer. UV radiation is the name for the invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Sunlamps and tanning beds also give off UV radiation.Risk factors for nonmelanoma and melanoma cancers are not the same.Risk factors for nonmelanoma skin cancer:Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial
BackgroundIncidence and mortalityThere are three main types of skin cancer:Basal cell carcinoma.Squamous cell carcinoma (together with basal cell carcinoma, this is referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer).Melanoma.Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancer but have substantially better prognoses than the less common, generally more aggressive melanoma.Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States. Its incidence appears to be increasing in some  but not all  areas of the United States. Overall U.S. incidence rates have likely been increasing for a number of years. At least some of this increase may be attributable to increasing skin cancer awareness and resulting increasing investigation and biopsy of skin lesions. A precise estimate of the total number and incidence rate of nonmelanoma skin cancer is not possible, because reporting to cancer registries is not required. However, based on
Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually develops slowly, invading and destroying nearby tissues. It may take months or years for basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas to develop. Because of this slow growth, skin cancer can often be detected and treated early in
Nonmelanoma skin cancer may appear as a change in the skin, such as a growth, an irritation or sore that does not heal, or a change in a wart or mole. Basal cell carcinoma usually affects the head, neck, back, chest, or shoulders. The nose is the most com
A physical exam of skin is used to evaluate the skin for melanoma. If melanoma is suspected, a skin biopsy will be done. For this, your health professional will remove a sample of skin tissue and send it to a pathologist to be examined under a microscope.