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Does your skin color affect your risk of getting skin cancer?

ANSWER

The less pigment you have in your skin, the less protection your cells have against dangerous UV rays. Nonmelanoma is rare if your skin is dark, but you can still get melanoma.

From: What Causes Skin Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Vital Signs: Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Trends and Projections -- United States, 1982-2030.”

American Cancer Society: “Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.”

American Cancer Society: “Melanoma Skin Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “What is Cancer?”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions, Skin cancer.”

Mayo Clinic: “Melanoma.”

Melanoma Research Foundation.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on August 06, 2018

SOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Vital Signs: Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Trends and Projections -- United States, 1982-2030.”

American Cancer Society: “Cancer Facts & Figures 2016.”

American Cancer Society: “Melanoma Skin Cancer.”

National Cancer Institute: “What is Cancer?”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions, Skin cancer.”

Mayo Clinic: “Melanoma.”

Melanoma Research Foundation.

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on August 06, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How can warm climate or high elevation cause skin cancer?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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