Tanning is the skin's response to ultraviolet (UV) light—a protective reaction to prevent further injury to the skin from the sun. However, tanning does not prevent skin cancer.
What are risk factors for skin cancer?
The following are possible risk factors for skin cancer:
Heredity: People with a family history of skin cancer are generally at a higher risk of developing the disease. People with fair skin and a northern European heritage appear to be most susceptible. Learn more about skin cancer genetics.
Environment: Due to a reduction of ozone in the earth's atmosphere, the level of UV light today is higher than it was 50 or 100 years ago. Ozone serves as a filter to screen out and reduce the amount of UV light that we are exposed to. With less atmospheric ozone, a higher level of UV light reaches the earth's surface. Learn more about effects of UV exposure.
Other factors that contribute to skin cancer
Multiple nevi (moles) or atypical moles
Eposure to coal and arsenic compounds
Elevation: Ultraviolet light is stronger as elevation increases (because the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes cannot filter UV as effectively as it does at sea level).
Latitude: The rays of the sun are strongest near the equator.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.