Skin Cancer Awareness with Sunscreen and Sunglasses Skin Cancer Awareness with Sunscreen and Sunglasses

Love YourSkin- Is Skin Cancer Genetic?

Skin cancer is a dangerous disease that we all know. And there could be many reasons behind it. Earlier I used to doubt if it’s a genetic problem or if only external factors are responsible for it. Being a curious person I always try to find out my answers. Be it from books, research, authentic sites, or asking in person, I never hesitate. In fact, I believe gaining knowledge and spreading it to others is one of the best things one can do.

So, before I tell you if it’s genetic, I’ll explain to you the skin cancer.

Skin cancer is basically an extreme type of growth of cells that are in the outermost layer of the skin, known as the epidermis, and is caused by mutation, which tends to promote overgrowth and turns into tumor formation. The mutation is caused by unrepaired DNA damage in the first place.

The Risk of Melanoma Is Serious

Actually, any unprotected exposure to Ultraviolet radiation from the sun will directly be a risk factor considered melanoma. The attack from indoor tanning and ultraviolet light is very extreme on the skin, making it the first factor to count. Severe sunburns definitely increase the risk. Everything at a younger age has a higher impact but even the ones developed in later life do have a cumulative effect.

I must say it’s our immune system that helps us fight off any diseases or infections. But, in some patients, the immune response will not be as strong as in others. This is because the system might become weakened by medical treatments like chemotherapy or medical conditions like lymphoma or HIV.

There is no clear distinction as to who is affected by melanoma. But, it is believed that people with fairer skin which easily freckles and burns, along with those who have red or blond hair and blue or green eyes; are at a higher risk.

Now I’ll Explain the Role of Genetics Play in Skin Cancer

There is no doubt that the ultraviolet light from sun exposure, tanning beds, and other such reasons look like a causal agent for skin cancer. But in addition to this, your genes can also be a causal factor if you have had a family history of skin cancer.

Based on the studies done by the Skin Cancer Foundation, it can be clearly observed that almost 10% of the people diagnosed with melanoma are basically a case of familial melanoma. That means somebody in their family members had that disease at some point in life and the closer the biological relationship, the higher the risk of melanoma.

Another point to be noted with people who have familial melanoma history is that if you have a lot of unusual moles, then you are at high risk of developing melanoma. These moles could be asymmetrical, have an irregular or jagged border, or even have changed their size and shape.

When you have a combination of moles and a family history of melanoma it is actually described by the term Familial Atypical Multiple Mole Melanoma syndrome (FAMMM). FAMMM syndrome increases the risk for any individual by over 17%.

You Must Know Some Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

It’s your skin, and you must take care of it. Get self-checkups more frequently done and have periodical visits to a trusted and certified dermatologist. This helps to diagnose any new development.

A professional skin exam can give a detailed analysis and having an early stage information is among the best ways to cure melanoma. In case you already know that you have a family history of melanoma, then start with everything all the more early. Children who have such genetic inheritance will need special care, starting straight from puberty.

Usually in known histories, the possibility of recovery is higher because of the preparedness and careful and continuous examination. However, you need to keep in mind that even if you’re not in a high-risk category, precautions still stand in place. This primarily involves protecting yourself from UV radiation.

  • Use a sunscreen that has a higher SPF ideally 30 or higher, also make sure that it is a broad spectrum so that the sunscreen can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • If you’ve indulged in any activity causing you to sweat a lot like exercise or even swimming then reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • If you really have to step out then use sunscreen as stated above, but if you have a flexible timeline on that then try not to step out between 10 AM and 3 PM, this is the duration when the UV light from the sun is at its highest intensity.
  • When you are stepping out make sure you are clothed appropriately. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that actually cover most of the exposed body to protect it from the direct incoming sun rays.
  • If you have to walk around a lot then wear a hat this will provide extra protection for your head, face, ears, and even neck.

It has been observed that a person who has already had a certain type of skin cancer is more likely to get another one as compared to a person who hasn’t. Although it is not definitive these people should be extra careful and be very cautious during their sun exposure as they are at higher risk.

I’ll tell you about one more factor behind it. Even if you have certain skin conditions like keratosis it is also an increased risk. It is usually caused by prolonged sun exposure spread over years, which causes rough, scaly, and red patches of skin development on your face, hands, and even scalp.

Some other skin conditions like psoriasis have treatment procedures that make you more susceptible to skin cancer because the treatment itself uses a lot of ultraviolet light.

There are many causes and other factors that come into play for skin cancer, so one decisive answer to the question is not really possible. The fact is that it is also caused due to genetic issues. So, keep a check on your skin and always be aware of it.

Last Updated on April 28, 2024 by Pragya

Authors

Anushree Khandelwal
Pragya
  1. That was such thought-provoking content! Skin cancer spreading fast now a days. It is because of the unhygienic creams, lotions and other skin care products we use. It genetic as well. So it should be treated timely.
    All the precautions you described in this article are need to be execute to stay away from skin diseases and skin cancer.

  2. The practical advice on sun protection, such as using broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing appropriate clothing, and avoiding peak UV hours, offers valuable insights for those seeking to mitigate the risk. The emphasis on proactive measures for those with a family history of melanoma, including starting prevention efforts early, adds a thoughtful dimension to the discussion. Overall it is a valuable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the genetic aspects of skin cancer and the measures they can take to protect themselves.

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