Cumulative, excessive sun exposure.
Sunlight is a source of ultraviolet radiation, and excessive sun exposure is the biggest single risk factor for any skin cancer. In addition, the
total amount of sun exposure over a lifetime increases skin cancer risk
Having had at least one blistering sunburn increases the risk for skin cancer
Having a tan can lower sunburn risk, but those who tan well without burning still have a higher risk of skin cancer because of more lifetime sun
exposure. Using tanning booths regularly before age 30 has also been shown to greatly increase skin cancer risk.
Melanoma sometimes runs in families. Having two or more close relatives who have melanoma increases the risk for it.
Fair skin, light eyes; skin that burns easily.
Having fair or pale skin, or skin that sunburns easily, blue or gray eyes, red or blond hair, or having many freckles increases the risk of skin
VA Research and Skin Cancer
Within VA, skin cancer is a concern for Veterans, many of whom experience higher cumulative sun exposure during active dutyï¿½for example,
Veterans deployed to the Pacific during World War II had higher rates of basal cell cancer than their counterparts deployed to
To aid with skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, VA health services researchers conduct investigations into different aspects of skin cancer,
To learn more about skin cancer research in VA, visit the Resources links, at right. For more information about skin cancer signs, symptoms, and
prevention, visit the National Cancer Institute's skin cancer information homepage.