Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who is Likely To Get Melanoma?

No one is free from risk of getting melanoma. People who have the highest risk have many moles, irregular moles or large moles.

Those with close blood relatives who have had melanoma or who have previously had melanoma themselves are at risk. This can be caused by a family lifestyle of frequent sun exposure, having fair skin, inheriting a gene mutation or a combination of these factors.

Some dermatologists recommend those with a history of melanoma in a first relative-(being a mother, father, sister son, etc.) have a skin exam to determine their risk.

Other people that develop melanoma might have fair skin which burns and freckles easily. People with red or blond hair. Even though melanoma is less common among people with darker skin who hardly sunburn, no one is immune to melanoma.

The risk is also higher in places where there is intense, year round sunshine. As with other types of cancer, the chance of developing melanoma increases as a person gets older.

It was once believed that dark brown or black skin prevented melanoma. When melanoma develops in people whose untanned skin is brown, it commonly occurs on the palms, feet and under their nails.

Coming Next:
The Difference Between a Melanoma and a Mole

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