Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Melanoma risk factors

The primary risk factor for melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, including sunlight and tanning beds, with the risk growing with the amount of exposure. Early exposure, particularly for people who had frequent sunburns as a child, also increases melanoma risks. But unlike more common skin cancers, melanoma may be found on parts of the body not normally exposed to the sun, such as the groin or armpits. Reducing factors under your control may help lower your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. For those factors that can’t be controlled, regular skin examinations may help spot a developing melanoma early, when it is most treatable.

cancer risks

Understanding risk factors

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer. Not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss it with your doctor.

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