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What causes skin cancer

There are a few major causes of skin cancer, but by far the most over-riding is excessive or constant over-exposure to ultraviolet (most often known as “UV”) radiation form the sun. Many people forget that the sun’s energy is actually a type of radiation and it consists of both visible and invisible rays. Invisible infrared radiation is what makes the sunlight feel hot. Ultraviolet rays are also invisible, and these are what precipitate both sun tans and skin cancer. This is where the sun tan myth should be entirely exploded: Many people, especially in Western cultures, have-for a protracted period of time-prize sun tans as visible manifestations of health and wellness.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the earlier statement that UV rays cause the skin to tan and you begin to realize what is actually happening. A sun tan actually denotes damaged, burned skin, and this will affect the cells, damaging DNA which is the genetic material that comprises genes. This, in the case of severe genetic damage, causes the otherwise normal skin cell to grow in a disorder and uncontrolled way – which is a prime function of cancer cells – and this is what has made incidents of skin cancer rise steeply in many western countries. There are two different kinds of ultraviolet ration, and these are ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). Where once scientists believed that over-exposure to UVB rays was the principal cause of skin cancer they now believe that AVA is also implicated. This is why it is so important to cover exposed skin and apply effective sunblock products in order to protect your skin when the sun is at its strongest.

Having said this there are other factors that may herald the onset of skin cancer, among them are hereditary causes which is why people with instances of skin cancer in their family history should be extra careful. In such cases skin cancer is caused by a child’s abnormal genes that are inherited from their parents. When taking UV factors and the fashionable trend for desiring sun tans into account people should also consider the use of tanning booths, which are also heavily implicated in instances of skin cancer.

Impairment of the immune system, called immunosuppression, can also make a person more prone. In such cases the immune system, the mechanism that protects the body from foreign matter such as germs, ceases to function properly and thus leaves the body more susceptible to infections and diseases. This may happen as a result of other illnesses or due to medicines taken to fight auto-immune diseases. People that have had an unusually high number of x-rays or exposure to radioactive or immunosuppressing chemicals are also at greater risk, as are those who come into frequent contact with certain chemicals such as arsenic. Such people may include farmers and miners. Those with fair skin that freckle easily or with light colored hair (blond or red) are also in a higher risk category for skin cancer and should exercise greater caution in the sun.

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