Our San Antonio - Stone Oak location has closed. Dr. Petr will now see all patients at U.S. Dermatology Partners San Antonio.

Skin Cancer Risk Assessment

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime. More than 8,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

The good news is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. Taking care to limit your sun exposure and getting a full-body skin examination annually can drastically decrease the likelihood of developing later-stage basal cell carcinoma, melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

This assessment is not intended to replace the evaluation of a healthcare professional.

Determine your risk level:

Your Risk Level:

Low
High

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Physical Traits:

1. Age and Sex

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Your Risk Level:

Due to years of sun exposure, patients over 50 have the highest risk of developing skin cancer, especially men. However, tanning habits have also caused a sharp rise in the number of diagnoses for teenage and young adult women.

2. Skin Tone

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Your Risk Level:

Though pale, easily burned skin may make a patient more likely to develop skin cancer, patients of color are more likely not to be diagnosed until their cancer has reached late stage. Make sure to regularly make self-checks on your arms, legs, palms, and soles and to get an annual exam no matter your skin tone.

3. Hair & Eye Color

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Your Risk Level:

Patients whose hair and eyes have more melanin in them tend to be at less risk than those with lighter eyes and hair. Melanin is the chemical in your body that creates darker pigmentation in your hair, eyes, and skin. High levels of melanin help protect patients from UVB rays.

4. I have a large number (50 or more) of freckles and moles.

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Your Risk Level:

While freckles aren’t a danger on their own, they are a sign of sun damage. Freckles are a result of your body producing more melanin to protect you from further sun damage. Freckles gained from sunburns especially are associated with a strong risk of skin cancer.

Patient Habits:

5. I wear sunscreen

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Your Risk Level:

Even when it isn’t incredibly sunny out, your body is still being exposed to UV rays. Investing in a SPF moisturizer is a great way to protect your skin on multiple fronts. Always wear a sunscreen with SPF 30+ when you plan to be in direct sunlight, and reapply regularly.

6. I tan outside or in a tanning booth:

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Your Risk Level:

Recreational tanning severely increases your risk of skin cancer later in life. Researchers estimate indoor tanning is responsible for over 400,000 cases of skin cancer per year. It is also believed to be the reason that females age 13-29 have a much higher risk of skin cancer than males in the same age group.

7. I perform skin self-checks:

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Your Risk Level:

When performing self-checks, don’t just check the areas that get regular amounts of sun. Make sure to also check your hands, lower legs, feet and nails. Dark colored skin growths in these areas are often signs of skin cancer.

8. I see a dermatologist for a full-body skin examination:

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Your Risk Level:

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you undergo a full-body skin examination at least once a year. Regular skin checks are fundamental in the early detection and diagnosis of skin cancer.

9. I am exposed to cigarettes or cancerous chemicals:

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Your Risk Level:

Carcinogens like those found in some insecticides and in tar, tobacco smoke and tainted drinking water can put you at a higher risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Try to limit your exposure to these kinds of chemicals as much as possible.

10. I am taking medicine or have a disease that suppresses my autoimmune responses.

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Your Risk Level:

Some medicines or autoimmune diseases can make it harder for the body to heal itself from sun damage, increasing your risk of skin cancer.

Skin History:

11. I have previously been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma or melanoma.

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Your Risk Level:

If you have already been diagnosed with skin cancer, you may be more likely to develop it multiple times. Dermatologists estimate that, if a patient is diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, their chances of being diagnosed again go up 40 percent.

12. A family member has previously been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma or melanoma.

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Your Risk Level:

Genetics play a large role in determining a patient’s risk of skin cancer. If a family member has previously been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are at a much higher risk of developing it than someone without a family history of skin cancer.

13. I have burned badly enough to experience peeling at least 5 times between the ages of 15 and 20.

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Your Risk Level:

Research indicates that multiple bad burns during your teen years can raise your risk of developing skin cancer as much as 80 percent! It is never too early for teens and kids to begin learning about skin health.

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Thank you for taking our Skin Cancer Risk Assessment!

Based on your responses, your skin cancer risk is:

Your Risk Level:

Low
High

Please remember that no online quiz can take the place of medical advice from a physician. This assessment is not intended to replace the evaluation of a healthcare professional. Doctors recommend that, for the best chance of skin cancer prevention, all patients should get a full-body skin screening from a dermatologist at least once a year.

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology, https://www.aad.org/ | Mohs Surgery Patient Education by American College of Mohs Surgery, http://www.skincancermohssurgery.org/ | American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, https://www.asds.net/