How do you get skin cancer?

Sun damage. The most important risk factor is sun exposure, and the damage that comes from that. Other things can contribute including your genetics and family history. Wearing appropriate clothing and use of sunblock is the most important thing you can do to help skin cancer.
Photodamage. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the two most common skin cancers. They develop due to excessive sun exposure. In people who are otherwise healthy, these tumors do not metastasize but cause destruction by direct extension. The 3rd most common skin cancer is malignant melanoma, fatal if metastasized. Although some cases of melanoma are hereditary, most are also due to sun exposure.
Sun exposure. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the most important risk factor for developing skin cancers. Family history, skin complexion, and genetics also play a role in its development.

Related Questions

Can you get skin cancer in your arm pit?

Yes. Unfortunately you can get skin cancer anywhere. Most often skin cancer is caused by sun exposure but also sometimes caused by chronic wounds or inflammation or genetic problems. Also other cancers also metastasize to the armpit because of lymphatic drainage. If you see a change in color or a new bump- these things should prompt you to see a doctor to verify that it is not cancer.
Skin cancer. Skin cancer may occur on any skin surface inducing non sun exposed areas such as underarms, groin, between toes, etc. See a dermatologist to evaluate any suspicious growth or spot.

Can you get skin cancer from a first degree sunburn when you have only had a few mild ones in the past? 18 yrs/ few freckles on nose&face/pale

Hard to predict. It is well known that sunburn and excess sun exposure increase the risk of skin cancer. He lifetime risk of skin cancer is 20% and it is estimated that by age 65, 40% of individuals will have acquired at least one lesion. Fortunately, most of these are not melanomas, which carry the worst prognosis. I recommend using sunscreen on a regular basis to minimize further risk and avoid tanning booths.
Unlikely. The risk of skin cancer goes up with the number of sunburns you have and the accumulated hours of sun exposure. Use sunscreen carefully from now on whenever you will have a prolonged sun exposure.
Cancer risks. Cancer comes from changes to the DNA- mutations, that can be caused by many things. Cancer begins only when enough changes have accrued to make cells that grow independently. But one can not tell right off if they have occurred. The more exposure the more risk, but single exposure does not mean zero risk, just lower. Take luck out of it and avoid risks.

I found a dark brown mole on the side of my penis that I did not have before. It is pretty big and has uneven borders. Can you get skin cancer ther?

Yes you can. See a dermatologist asap. Penile cancers are notoriously bad. The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome. Good luck from nyc.
Yes. Yes you can, see your doc right away bro. Hopefully is nothing serious but needs to be checked. Regards.
Yes. You sure can. Time to see your friendly dermatologist.
New moles. Any new mole, particularly one that is dark and has irregular borders needs to be shown to a dermatologist as soon as possible to rule out melanoma.

How can a person get skin cancer?

Sun damage and Genes. There can be a family component to many cancers including skin cancers. This should not be taken lightly. Sun exposure is another large risk factor for skin cancer. The two together can be very dangerous. If you have a strong family history, lots of sun exposure, or any enlarging skin lesions, be evaluated by your local doctor and/or dermatologist.
Exposure & genetic. The two most important factors are genetic tendencies including race and pigmentation. There are certain conditions such as basal cell nevus syndrome where the affected individual may form hundreds of skin cancers. However the next most important factor is exposure to uv radiation or carcinogens.
UV radiation. Two sources, the main is uv radiation from the sun. The other is your genes. People with fair skin and red hair are at an increased risk for skin cancer.

What types of people get skin cancer?

Sun damaged. Sun damaged people are at highest risk for skin cancers. People with lighter skin tones develop sun damage faster than people with dark skin. There can be a genetic propensity as well (in addition to overall skin tone) prevention is as simple as wearing sunblock and appropriate clothing.
All skin types. Anyone can get a skin cancer but there's higher risk for fairer skin complexion and increased sun exposure. Genetics plays an important role so if skin cancer runs in the family that puts you at higher risk. As more people live longer and spend more time in the sun, there will be increasing incidence of skin cancer. The U.S. Is currently having higher rates of skin cancer and will continue to incr.
All types. While skin cancer is more common in fair skinned individuals, it can occur in anyone.

Do teenagers commonly get skin cancer?

Possible but rare. While it is possible, it is extremely rare. However any growing, changing, asymmetrical, bleeding, ulcerated or otherwise suspicious lesion should be evaluated at any age.
Skin cancer. Skin cancer may be found in teenagers, especially when there is a history of artificial and outdoor tanning or in those with a family history of skin cancer, such as melanoma.