If you have risk factors, it does not mean that you will develop skin cancer, it just means that you’re at a greater risk, so you need to get checked regularly and take further steps to prevent it from developing.

Family and personal history: It is very common for patients diagnosed with skin cancer to also have family members who have had skin cancer. Similarly, if you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) you’re also at a higher risk of developing melanoma. If you’ve been treated for melanoma in the past, you’re also at risk of it reoccurring.

Moles: People who have a lot of moles are at higher risk of developing skin cancer. Some moles develop because of genetics and others develop from exposure to UV radiation. Dysplastic moles, which may look different to ordinary moles, can sometimes evolve into melanoma. If you have moles that you are concerned about, you should speak to a doctor.

Skin Type: If you have medium to fair skin, you may be at higher risk of developing skin cancer. This is because lighter skin types can be more sensitive to UV radiation. This doesn’t mean that people with medium to dark skin are safe from cancer; there are other risk factors to consider such as frequent exposure.

Sun Exposure: Most cases of skin cancer are caused by exposure to UV radiation. If you work outdoors or spend a lot of leisure time outdoors, you may be at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. UV radiation can cause damage to the skin, even if you don’t see it. The damage accumulates over time, which can increase your risk of damaged skin cells developing into cancer.

If you notice suspicious marks or unusual changes on your skin book an appointment with an experienced skin cancer doctor for a professional assessment as soon as possible. Most skin cancer cases can be treated successfully if they are detected early.