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What increases my risk for stage 4 melanoma?

There are several factors, both genetic and environmental, that may put you at risk for stage 4 melanoma. Obviously, if you have been diagnosed with any earlier stage of melanoma and leave the condition untreated, you are at a very high risk for developing stage 4 melanoma. In general, if a family member has had melanoma, you are at a higher risk for the disease. Also, you are at a greater risk for melanoma if you have light hair and skin since your skin has less pigment to protect from harmful ultraviolet rays. Other genetic risk factors include having more than 50 moles or having any irregular moles. Environmental risk factors such as excessive sun exposure may also affect the development of stage 4 melanoma.

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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.