What are the risk factors?

The known risk factors are determined by the basic constitution of the patient and by types of external aggression that are harmful to health. People who:

  • have little melanin (pigment protecting against the sun)
  • have a fair complexion or red hair
  • burn easily when exposed to the sun

are 20 to 30 times more likely to develop skin cancer in their lifetime than those with dark complexions who tan easily.

  • People with atypical nevi (irregular-shaped moles of a larger than usual size) or a large number of such moles (more than 20) should check with their dermatologist for possible skin cancer symptoms. This type of patient may also have a personal or family background in skin cancer, factors which in themselves represent a greater risk.
  • Patients with a deficient immune system (natural defenses), whether due to illness or medicine taken to prevent organ transplant rejection, for example, have "weaker" resistance to the appearance of a cutaneous tumor.
  • The most studied type of agression is solar radiation. The influence of sunburn (especially in childhood) on the possible future development of skin cancer is well known: the more sunburn the greater the likelihood (consult the relevant section in the book "Cuando calienta el sol" – "When the Sun Shines")