In most cases, non-melanoma skin cancer doesn't run in families. However, research has shown that some families have a higher than average number of members who develop the condition.
For example, if you have a parent who's had squamous cell carcinoma, your risk of also getting it is 2 to 3 times higher than average.
Other risk factors
Certain factors are thought to increase your chances of developing all types of skin cancer.
- having pale skin that does not tan easily
- have blonde or red hair
- having blue eyes
- older age
- having a large number of moles
- having a large number of freckles
- having an area of skin previously damaged by burning or radiotherapy treatment
- having a condition that suppresses your immune system, such as HIV
- having medicines that suppress your immune system (immunosuppressants), commonly used after organ transplants
- exposure to certain chemicals, such as creosote and arsenic
- having been previously diagnosed with skin cancer
The Cancer Research UK website has more information about skin cancer risks and causes.