The predominant carcinogen for all three forms of skin cancer is ultraviolet radiation via sun exposure. Personal susceptibility factors include fair hair and skin, and a tendency to burn and not tan. In theory, skin cancers in fair-skinned people are substantially preventable by avoiding UV radiation exposure. Behavior modification programs have been remarkably successful in some countries, for instance the “Slip (on a shirt), Slap (on a hat), and Slop (on sunscreen)” campaign on Australia. In the coming decades, the extent to which these programs translate into a lower incidence of skin cancer will become apparent.
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