Doctors cannot explain why one person develops skin cancer and another does not. However, we do know that skin cancer is not contagious. You cannot "catch" it from another person.
Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop skin cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.
Studies have found the following risk factors for skin cancer:
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation: UV radiation comes from the sun, sunlamps, tanning beds, or tanning booths. A person's risk of skin cancer is related to lifetime exposure to UV radiation. Most skin cancer appears after age 50, but the sun damages the skin from an early age.
If you think you may be at risk for skin cancer, you should discuss this concern with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce your risk and can plan a schedule for checkups.
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