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What causes skin cancer ?

There are quite a few known causes of skin cancer. The most widely acknowledged cause is over exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays or sunlight.
Over-exposure to UV radiation from the sun damages the skin, causing it to change colour, burn or even blister. Every time you expose your skin to the sun you add to your ‘lifetime exposure’ and increase your skin cancer risk. The number of severe sunburns you have received, especially during childhood, also increases your risk.
UV rays damage DNA, the genetic material that makes up genes. Genes control the growth and overall health of skin cells. If the genetic damage is severe, a normal skin cell may begin to grow in the uncontrolled, disorderly way of cancer cells. UV also can cause sunburn, and other damage that makes the skin look prematurely old and wrinkled.

The list below highlights some of the main causes:
– Having any deficiency of the immune system, that is having a condition that predisposes you to lowered immune system function, will increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
– Being exposed to abnormally high levels of X-rays may contribute to the development of skin cancer.
– Using tanning booths to acquire an artificial tan has been widely accepted as a substantial cause of the disease.
– Having a family history increases the risk of skin cancer.
– If you have several moles these can become cancerous growths on the skin’s surface.
– Some people are thought to be at a more significant risk, such as lighter skinned people, people with blond or red hair and green or blue eyes.

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