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Skin Cancer Risk Factors

Are you at risk of developing skin cancer? People with certain risk factors, such as a family history of cancer and excessive sun exposure, are more likely than others to develop skin cancer. If you have the risk factors for skin cancer, schedule an appointment with your MedStar doctor today. The skin cancer and melanoma specialists at MedStar Health’s Baltimore Cancer Network will provide you with the latest skin cancer treatments and comprehensive care.

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What Increases Risk Factors?

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of developing skin cancer. Some skin cancer risks, such as excessive sun exposure and using tanning beds, can be controlled. Others, such as your family history of skin cancer and skin complexion, cannot. However, having a risk, or even many skin cancer risks, doesn’t mean that you will develop skin cancer. In many cases, people who develop skin cancer have no known skin cancer risks. Even if someone develops skin cancer, it’s often very difficult to know what part that risk factor may have played in developing skin cancer.

Factors may include:

  • Fair skin - Anyone can develop skin cancer. However, people with fair complexions have less pigment (melanin) in their skin, which provides protection against UV radiation.
  • History of blistering sunburns - If you’ve had one or more blistering sunburns, you have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Excessive sun exposure - If you spend a considerable amount of time in the sun, especially if you don’t protect your skin with sunscreen or clothing, you have an increased risk for developing skin cancer.
  • Use of tanning beds and sun lamps - A tan is your skin’s response to exposure to UV radiation. Using tanning beds and sun lamps also puts you at risk.
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer - If you or a close relative has a history of skin cancer, you may be at increased risk for developing the disease.
  • Moles - If you have many moles or abnormal moles, which are more likely to become cancerous, you may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

If you have any of these skin cancer risks or notice any changes in your skin or moles, talk to your MedStar Health skin cancer specialist.

Location Information

Maryland Melanoma Center
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 2300
Baltimore, MD 21237

Skin Cancer at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

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