Carcinoma is caused by a mutation of the DNA in skin cells, and comes in two different forms: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. While these carcinomas can be treated easily if caught early, it’s better to take preventative action to stop the development of carcinomas in their tracks. Familiarizing yourself with some of the common causes of carcinoma can help you take precautions that protect the health of your skin.
At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, we’re committed to raising awareness about the factors that contribute to carcinomas to help our patients lead happier, healthier lives. If you’d like more information about our practice or are interested in scheduling a consultation appointment, contact us today.
Ultraviolet light (UV) is one of the most common environmental causes of carcinoma. This is because UV light damages the genetic material of the skin cells, causing them to become cancerous. The more frequently you’ve been exposed to the sun, the higher your chances are of developing skin cancer.
Individuals who are more likely to develop skin cancer because of sun sensitivity or exposure include those who:
- Work outdoors
- Have fair skin
- Live in places that receive lots of sunlight
Undergoing Radiotherapy treatment for other conditions can sometimes cause skin cancer to form. This is because exposure to radiation can alter the skin cells, causing them to multiply too quickly and become cancerous later in life.
Individuals that have recently undergone an organ transplant typically have to take drugs called immunosuppressants that weaken their immune systems. While immunosuppressants help reduce the risk of organ rejection after a transplant, they can also put patients at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Because the drug is absolutely necessary, it’s important that you regularly attend dermatologist skin cancer screenings while you are taking an immunosuppressant to make sure that your skin is well-protected.
Exposure to Chemicals
If you are in a line of work that causes you to be regularly exposed to harmful chemicals, this exposure could eventually lead to carcinoma.
Individuals that work in the following industries might have a higher risk of developing carcinomas:
- Dye factors
- Rubber production
- Gas works
It’s true that skin cancer is not passed directly from family member to family member. However, hereditary conditions that are genetic can increase a person’s likelihood of developing basal or squamous cell carcinoma. Individuals with Gorlin syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) are particularly prone to carcinoma.