Melanoma Causes & Risk Factors
1 AnswerYouBeauty answeredSkin cancers comprise a rare 1 to 2% of all cancers in African Americans, yet the death rate is most fatal, since many assume natural protection, and aren’t diagnosed with melanoma until it’s too late. Today, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the melanoma survival rate for African Americans is 77 percent, as compared to 91 percent for Caucasians.
1 AnswerHealthyWomen answeredA condition called dysplastic nevus syndrome, also known as familial melanoma syndrome or familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome, can increase a person's risk for developing melanoma. A "nevus" is a mole. These particular moles are often irregularly shaped and may be larger than other moles. They can appear anywhere on the body, sun-exposed or not. This condition tends to run in families. A person with this condition may have many moles on her body or just a few. Researchers believe that a genetic predisposition for dysplastic nevus syndrome may exist.
1 AnswerHealthwise answered
Familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome is an inherited tendency to develop melanoma. FAM-M syndrome is present when:
- Melanoma has been diagnosed in a family member, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
- Several family members have large numbers of moles (often more than 50), some of which may be abnormal, or atypical, moles.
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1 AnswerPatrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answeredCancer outcomes tend to be worse for the poor and minorities. It’s thought that people with less access to good health care are often diagnosed at later stages, giving those patients less of a shot at being cured. However, there’s at least one cancer that’s being diagnosed more often among wealthy white women: melanoma.
Time to drop the tanning salon membership! Although there are likely several causes for an increase in melanoma diagnosis among wealthy white women, one clear contributor to risk is time spent in the sun. It may be that people with higher income are spending more leisure time in the sun.
Not all melanomas occur among those who worship the sun. Unfortunately, I’ve seen melanoma strike many young men and women, including a few friends. Often damage is done as a child and some people are genetically predisposed. However, limiting time in the sun and using high SPF sunscreen are both good ideas to minimize future risk.
1 AnswerThere have been various studies looking at the incidence of second melanomas, and there is no clear answer to your question. We do know that you are at a higher risk for getting another melanoma compared with people who have never had melanoma, but we just don't know exactly what that number is. The best thing you can do is perform regular monthly skin exams and see your dermatologist as often as she or he recommends.
2 AnswersMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredOnce you've got your daily sun, here's what you can do to make sure you protect yourself from harm:
- Year-round, rain or shine, make sure your food and supplements deliver a total of 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. This can cut your melanoma risk by up to 57%.
- Use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunscreen with a 30 SPF. Apply a layer that's 1 millimeter thick (much thicker than you think) and reapply frequently.
2 AnswersRight at the top of the list of risk factors for melanoma is to avoid is tanning beds.
Tanning beds are a source of ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, and there is a direct correlation between UVA exposure and an increased risk for developing melanoma.
According to the National Cancer Institute, part of the United States National Institutes of Health, women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55% more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Frequent tanning bed use increases both men and women’s risk of developing skin cancer.
Additionally, the National Cancer Institute reports that exposure to tanning salon rays increases damage caused by sunlight because ultraviolet light actually thins the skin, making it less able to heal.
Everyone has risk for melanoma, but the people most at risk are those who with the following characteristics or factors:
- Fair skin.
- Moles (especially multiple).
- Easily burned by the sun.
- Subject to excessive sun exposure, including individuals who work in the marine industry or outdoor construction jobs.
- Family history or personal history of skin cancer.
Lastly, although darker complexions provide more protection from the sun, dark-skinned individuals can still develop skin cancer. Regardless of your skin tone, caution should be taken and excessive sun exposure should be avoided.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
2 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Even though fair-skinned and light-haired people are most at risk for developing melanoma, it's possible for people with dark skin to develop the disease, too. In people with darker skin tones, their skin naturally produces more melanin, or pigment, which means their skin has more protection from the sun. However, melanoma still can occur, and when it does, it's more likely to be "hidden." This means that the melanoma develops in places that aren't exposed to the sun. Possible areas that can be affected include eyes, esophagus, mouth, nose, and urinary tract. These types of melanoma are often more difficult to find, so it's important to talk with a doctor if you have any unusual symptoms.
1 AnswerHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
The risk for melanoma can run in families. If you have family members who have had melanoma, you have a greater chance of developing the disease. Approximately ten percent of people who are diagnosed with melanoma have a family member who has also had melanoma. If you have a family history of melanoma, you should see a doctor for a skin screening at least once a year.