How the sun and UV cause cancer

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Sunlight and cancer

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Too much ultraviolet UV radiation from the sun or sunlight and cancer is the main cause of skin cancer. In the UK almost 9 in 10 cases of melanomasunlight and cancer, the most serious type of skin cancer, sunlight and cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding using sunbeds. Getting sunburn, just once every 2 years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. For people with darker skin, it may just feel irritated, tender or itchy.

This is why people can still burn on cool days. Too much UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds can damage the genetic material the DNA in your skin cells. If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to sunlight and cancer cancer.

Your body has ways of repairing most of the damage. But it is not perfect some damaged DNA can be left behind. If you notice your skin becoming pink or red, you should come out of the sun and cover up to help stop any more damage from happening. Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can be invasive. As well as growing across the surface of the skin, tumours can sometimes grow down through the layers of skin.

If the tumour grows through the wall of a blood or lymph vessel, cancer cells can break off and spread to other parts of the body. This is why skin cancer is usually sunlight and cancer to treat successfully when it is caught at an early stage.

Am I at risk of sunburn? Ways to enjoy the sun safely. Sun facts and evidence. Call freephone or email us. Skip to main content. How the sun and UV cause cancer. There are 2 main types of UV rays that damage our skin. Both types can cause skin cancer: UVB is responsible for the majority sunlight and cancer sunburns. UVA penetrates deep into the skin. It ages the skin, but contributes much less towards sunburn. What happens to my skin when it burns? See what happens to your skin when you get sunburnt.

Find out more Am I at risk of sunburn? Ways to enjoy the sun safely Sunbeds and cancer Sun facts and evidence. Last reviewed 28 April Can cancer be prevented? HPV and cancer Hormones and cancer Air pollution, sunlight and cancer, radon gas and cancer Cancer risks in the workplace Cancer controversies Inherited cancer genes and increased cancer risk Age and Cancer.

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Sunlight and cancer