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How likely am I to develop skin cancer?

Your risk of developing skin cancer depends on many things. People at high risk include those who:
  • are in the sun more often or work outside without skin protection
  • have blond or red hair
  • have blue or green eyes
  • have lighter skin
  • use indoor tanning beds
  • burn easily
Jeanine B. Downie, MD
Dermatology
Between 40% and 50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have some type of skin cancer at least once. Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77% between 1992 and 2006. About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25 to 29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15 to 29 years old.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.