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Q:  I’ve actively tanned for the last 11 years.  What are my chances of getting skin cancer now?  What’s the chance of me getting skin cancer because I’ve been naturally tanning since I was 6.  I am 17 now?  What can I do to lower my future risk?  Is it too late???

A:  Intentional tanning will have certainly increased your risk, but its very difficult to put a number on it.

You can’t change the past, but you can exert control over your future.  So, what you want to do now is to make that behavior part of the past and take measures to protect yourself from the sun in the future.  Although you are quite young, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see a good dermatologist for a baseline exam and certainly to see a good dermatologist for any spots that you are worried about.

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