Non-melanoma skin cancer is the type of skin cancer that grows in the outer layers of the skin. A risk factor determines the chances of a person to develop cancer. Risk factors can influence the development of cancerous cells in the body, but it does not directly cause this growth. The presence of risk factors in person does not mean that a person will develop cancer. In some cases, even though a person many risk factors, they do not develop the cancerous growth in the skin. Once risk factors are detected in a person, lifestyle modification may avoid or delay the development of cancer.
Who Is At Risk For Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer?
Sun Exposure- The risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer is highest in those people who live in high altitudes or areas with bright sunlight present throughout the year. People who are exposed to ultraviolet rays, especially UVB rays, most of the time in the day or midday hours, are more at risk.(1)
Artificial Tanning- indoor tanning caused by tanning beds, tanning parlors, or sun lamps induce the risk of developing every type of cancer including non-melanoma skin cancer.(1)
Fair Skin- those people who have fair skin, blond or red hair, blue eyes, and freckles are more likely to develop skin cancer. Those who develop sunburns rather than tan are more likely to develop skin cancer. However, any person with any skin color can develop non-melanoma skin cancer.(1)
Age- people above 50 years are more at risk of getting this cancer. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas appear mostly after 50 years, and Merkel cell carcinoma attack people after 70 years.(1)
Gender- males are more affected than females with non-melanoma skin cancer. (1)
Race- people belonging to black people and Polynesian descent are more likely to develop skin cancer.(1)
Merkel Cell Polyomavirus- according to recent research, there is a marked link between the virus and Merkel cell cancers in almost 80% of cases.(1)
Precancerous Skin Conditions- the conditions such as actinic keratoses or Bowen’s disease are more likely to change into squamous cell cancers (a type of skin cancer) in some people.(1)
History Of Sunburns Or Fragile Skin- one who has fragile skin or sunburn skin is more likely to develop skin cancer.(1)
History Of Skin Cancer- any individual who previously had any form of skin cancer, are more at risk to develop another one in 35 to 50 % of cases within five years.(1)
Weak Immune System- people those have weak immune system due to stem cell transplantation, or solid organ transplantation or diseases like HIV or Aids are more at risk to get skin cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma.(1)
Inherited Diseases- nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, xeroderma, albinism, epidermolysis bullosa simplex syndrome are associated with basal cell carcinoma.(1)
HPV- HPV virus is also a risk factor for skin cancer, especially when the patient has a weak immune system.(1)
Exposure To Arsenic- exposure to arsenic may induce like Non-melanoma skin cancer. (1)
Medicines- medicines such as vandetanib (Caprelsa), vemurafenib (Zelboraf), and voriconazole (Vfend), etc. may suppress the immune system, thereby raising the chances of skin cancer.(1)
Previous Radiation Therapy- The patients who have received radiation therapy for cancer are at the highest risk of developing skin cancer in 10-20 years.(1)
Is There A Blood Test For Non-Melanoma Cancer?
There is no blood test for non-melanoma cancer. It is detected only with the help of physical examination or by skin biopsy.(2)
Non-melanoma skin cancer has risk factors like old age, males, fair skin, exposure to the sun, medicines, weak immune system, arsenic exposure, and others discussed above. It cannot be detected by blood tests. Skin biopsy and physical examination of the affected area can establish its diagnosis.