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Ultraviolet radiation, skin type and skin cancer

LEE WHELESS, ANTHONY J. ALBERG*
*Corresponding author
Medical University of South Carolina, Hollings Cancer Centre
86 Jonathan Lucas Street, PO Box 250955, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Abstract

Skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma,squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, is the mostcommon form of cancer, particularly in fair-skinnedpopulations. Ultraviolet radiation, most often in the form ofsunlight, is the major causative agent for skin cancer.Individuals who tend to develop sunburns or havesusceptible pigmentary characteristics, such as a faircomplexion or freckles, are at a higher risk for developing skincancer. The use of sunscreens or sun-protective clothing, andavoidance of midday sunlight and tanning beds are skincancer prevention strategies, although the prevalence ofthese behaviours is low. Effective prevention campaigns,exemplified by Australia’s model, include interventions at thesocietal, community, and individual levels.