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Research Finds Six Factors That Predict Melanoma Risk

Posted: July 1st, 2018

Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, is a health hazard that causes more than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). It is estimated that one American dies from melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes). Usually fair-skinned individuals who sunburn but don’t tan easily with a history of sunburns, have a higher risk for melanoma, but new research has recognized other factors that could increase the risk of melanoma.

At the 67thAnnual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, MD, FAAD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, presented new research which recognizes six factors that predict melanoma risk. The six factors Dr. Rigel identified, which include some melanoma risk factors that have been previously identified are as follows:

*History of blistering sunburns as a teenager

* Red or blonde hair

* Marked freckling of upper back—sign of excessive sun exposure and that a person is prone to
to it

* Family history of melanoma

* History of Actinic Keratoses (AKs)—considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer

* Outdoor summer jobs for three or more years as a teenager

If you have one of these six factors, your chance of developing melanoma goes up to approximately a 3 percent to 5 percent lifetime risk. Dr. Rigel added that for individuals with two or more of these factors, the risk rises to a five to 10 times increased lifetime risk of melanoma. In addition, those with three or more of these six factors have up to a 10 to 20 times increased risk of developing melanoma. People who are identified in having any of the risk factors for melanoma should conduct regular skin self-exams and see a dermatologist.

American Academy of Dermatology & American Cancer Society