Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer worldwide. Research published in 2022 reveals that the number of skin cancer cases in Indonesia is in third place after uterine cancer and breast cancer, namely 5.9 to 7.8% per year.
You also need to know about other types of cancer, namely cervical cancer, which ranks second in number of cases in Indonesia, as reported by website RSUP Dr. Sardjito which will be published in 2022. Read this article: Get to Know What Cervical Cancer Is and How to Prevent It to get to know the causes and steps to prevent it.
In this article, you will understand the causes of skin cancer and the preventative steps that need to be taken. Come on, read the explanation until the end!
Causes of Skin Cancer and Risk Factors
The following is a complete explanation of the various causes and risk factors that trigger skin cancer.
1. Exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Rays
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can increase the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is most commonly caused by UVA rays which damage the DNA in skin cells.
2. History of Excessive Sunlight Exposure
Excessive exposure to sunlight, especially between 10.00 and 16.00, is one of the causes of skin cancer. At that time, the UV rays emitted by sunlight are quite strong. UVA and UVB rays, two types of UV rays, have a bad impact on the skin.
UVA rays are also known as aging rays It can accelerate skin aging and cause the appearance of wrinkles and black spots. Meanwhile, UVB rays or burning rays is a type of light that can cause skin burns. Excessive exposure to these two types of light can trigger skin cancer.
3. Sun Exposure as a Child
Children’s skin is more sensitive to UV rays. Sun exposure in childhood can increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Therefore, parents need to pay extra attention to protecting children from excessive sun exposure.
4. Sun Exposure at Work
Some jobs require more outdoor activities that cause excessive sun exposure. If the body is not protected by sunscreen cream and clothing that covers it, the risk of developing skin cancer is greater.
5. Use of Tanning Beds or Tanning Lamps
Tanning bed or a tanning lamp is a tool to darken the skin. Tanning bed Using artificial UV light can damage skin cells and increase the risk of skin cancer.
6. Families with a history of skin cancer
Someone who has experienced skin cancer has a high risk of experiencing the same condition. This risk also increases if there are family members with a history of skin cancer. Additionally, it should be noted that skin cancer can occur in anyone, regardless of skin color. However, people with fair skin have lower levels of melanin, so their protection against UV exposure is weaker.
7. History of Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
Exposure to large amounts of dangerous chemicals, such as arsenic, can increase the risk of skin cancer. Arsenic is a natural chemical found in water, soil and air, so it has the potential to contaminate food.
8. Weakened Immune System
Another cause of skin cancer is a weakened immune system. Weakened body immunity usually occurs in HIV/AIDS sufferers or people who take immunosuppressant drugs after organ transplantation. Weakened immunity can also be caused by various types of viruses, which you can find out more about in this article: Not Just Corona, Beware of 5 Other Virus-Caused Diseases!
9. Smoking or Exposure to Cigarette Smoke
Smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke also pose a risk of causing skin cancer. Apart from that, smoking can also increase the risk of autoimmune diseases of the skin. Avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke will contribute to better skin health.
10. Genetic and Heredity Factors
Lastly, skin cancer can also be caused by genetic and hereditary factors. If you have a family history of skin cancer, it is important to take extra care of your skin health and check yourself regularly with a dermatologist.
Skin Cancer Prevention Measures
The causes of skin cancer above can be prevented through the various actions below.
1. Use appropriate sunscreen
Apply sunscreen to your skin before leaving the house, even if the weather is cloudy. Sunblock or sunscreen is useful in blocking the absorption of radiation into the skin. Use moderate sunscreen Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and reapply every two hours.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
Try to wear clothes that cover your skin so as to minimize the amount of skin exposed to sunlight when leaving the house. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and sunglasses with UV protection are the right choice. If possible, wear clothing with labels UV protection factor or special clothing to protect the skin from exposure to sunlight.
3. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure
Even though you have used sunscreen and protective clothing, still avoid excessive sun exposure, especially around 10.00 to 16.00. However, don’t avoid sunlight completely, because the body also needs sunlight to produce vitamin D.
4. Regularly Check Your Skin and Detect Changes
Perform regular skin checks to detect changes and symptoms of skin cancer. If you see any suspicious signs, immediately consult a dermatologist for further treatment.
5. Avoid using tanning beds or tanning lamps
Apart from basking in the sun, tanning often carried out in a closed room using tanning bed which emits UV light. However, exposure to deep UV rays tanning bed It can harm skin health and speed up the premature aging process. Therefore, it is better to avoid use tanning bed.
6. Avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals
Avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals to reduce the risk of skin cancer. If you work in a field that requires interaction with these chemicals, wear protective clothing to keep your skin safe.
7. Maintain a Healthy Immune System
A healthy immune system can fight the growth of cancer cells. Maintain a healthy body by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive stress. If you have certain health conditions that affect your immune system, consult a doctor for appropriate advice.
8. Stop smoking or avoid exposure to cigarette smoke
Cigarettes are the main cause of all types of cancer, including skin cancer. Avoid smoking to reduce this risk. Likewise with passive smokers, avoid exposure to cigarette smoke which also affects lung health.
9. Consult a dermatologist regularly
Apart from carrying out self-examinations, also consult with a dermatologist regularly. The doctor will help detect changes in the skin and provide appropriate advice on how to maintain healthy skin.
10. Education and Increasing Awareness Regarding Skin Cancer
Lastly, raise awareness about skin cancer, including causes and preventive measures. Education can be done through campaigns to obtain information about skin cancer that is easily accessible to the public, such as social campaigns and seminars.
Do you understand the causes of skin cancer and steps to prevent it? Apart from taking the precautions above, also consider having Health Insurance from Prudential as a form of financial protection in facing health risks. Of course there are various options health/" rel="noopener">Health Insurance available at Prudential Indonesia.
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