Who is at risk for melanoma?

Everyone has risk for melanoma, but the people most at risk are those who with the following characteristics or factors:
  • Fair skin.
  • Light-eyes.
  • Freckles.
  • 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.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates there were 68,720 new cases of melanoma and 8,650 deaths from melanoma in the United States in 2009. The lifetime risk of developing melanoma, says the ACS is about 1 in 50 for whites, 1 in 1,000 for blacks and 1 in 200 for Hispanics.

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's and women’s risk of developing skin cancer.

Continue Learning about Melanoma Causes & Risk Factors

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.