Advertisement

How likely am I to develop skin cancer?

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.
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

Continue Learning about Skin Cancers

What a Dermatologist Wants You To Know About Skin Cancer
What a Dermatologist Wants You To Know About Skin Cancer
The rate of new cases of melanoma—the most dangerous form of skin cancer—have more than tripled since 1975, according to data from the National Cancer...
Read More
Where does Merkel cell carcinoma develop?
MCC is usually found on sun-exposed areas of the body. Fifty percent of cases occur on the head and ...
More Answers
Simple Ways to Spot Skin Cancer
Simple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin Cancer
Do you know the signs and symptoms of melanoma? Learn how to spot them at home using everyday items.
Start Slideshow
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest

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.