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Basal Cell Carcinoma Causes & Risks

Causes

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light through time spent in the sun—particularly as a child—is recognized as the primary cause of basal cell carcinoma. However, the growth results from a combination of sun exposure and genes that make developing the cancer more likely.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

The following factors increase your chance of developing basal cell carcinoma:

  • Childhood sunburns , freckling, or long periods of sun exposure
  • Fair skin that rarely tans
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Blonde or red hair
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A personal history of skin cancer
  • Treatment that suppresses the immune system, such as that prescribed for people who have had an organ transplant
  • History of radiation treatment
  • Swallowing arsenic
  • Certain rare genetic disorders, such as Gorlin’s syndrome—an inherited group of multiple defects involving the skin, nervous system, eyes, endocrine glands, and bones
  • Frequent use of tanning beds

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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