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What kind of skin cancer is most likely to occur in people with albinism?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Due to the lack of pigment in their skin, people with albinism are at higher risk for skin cancer. Nonmelanomatous skin cancer is the most common form for those with albinism, but other forms are certainly possible. It is important for people with albinism to diligently protect their skin from the sun.
People with albinism are at increased risk of developing skin cancer, most often nonmelanoma cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause cell changes that may produce cancer over time. All people are exposed to the sun's rays, but the skin's melanin (pigment) protects against some of the effects of UV. Since people with albinism either do not have enough or completely lack melanin, changes in their skin happen more quickly and to a greater degree than in most people. Protecting the skin is, therefore, very important for people with albinism.

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