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Cause

Nonmelanomaskin cancer is usually caused by overexposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays. Overexposure to UV rays can result from:

  • Having severe sunburn and blistering, especially during childhood.
  • Spending a lot of time in the sun over many years.
  • Using tanning beds or sunlamps, which are artificial sources of UV rays.

Other possible causes of skin cancer include repeated exposure to X-rays, certain chemicals (such as arsenic, coal tar, creosote), and radioactive substances (such as radium). Skin cancer may also be caused by ionizing radiation treatments for skin conditions such as psoriasis or acne.

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Interventions With Inadequate Evidence as to Whether They Reduce Risk of Melanoma

Sunscreen Use and Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Avoidance Benefits There is inadequate evidence to determine whether the avoidance of sunburns or the use of sunscreen alters the incidence of cutaneous melanoma. Magnitude of Benefit: Unknown. Study Design: Primarily cohort or case-control studies. A post-hoc analysis of one randomized controlled trial of regular sunscreen use (vs. use at the personal discretion of the control group) suggested a possible decrease...

Read the Interventions With Inadequate Evidence as to Whether They Reduce Risk of Melanoma article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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