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What causes skin cancer?

ANSWER

Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, most commonly from sunlight, is the most frequent cause of skin cancer.

Other causes of skin cancer include:

  • Frequent use of tanning booths
  • Immunosuppression, or a powering down of the immune system, which protects the body from germs or substances that cause an allergic reaction
  • Exposure to unusually high levels of radiation, such as from X-rays
  • Contact with certain chemicals, such as arsenic and hydrocarbons in tar, oils, and soot.

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 20, 2019

SOURCES: 

National Cancer Institute. 

National Institutes of Health. 

WebMD Medical Reference from the American College of Physicians: “Section 12 VIII Lung Cancer.”

News release, FDA.

American Cancer Society.

American Lung Association. 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 20, 2019

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Besides UV light exposure, what causes skin cancer?

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