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Melanoma Risk Factors  

The most common risk factors of melanoma include:  

  • Sun-burn - sunburn is a major risk factor for melanoma. The risk is even higher if you have had sunburns during childhood. In addition, use of ultraviolet cabin can also increase the risk of having melanoma.  
  • Excessive sun exposure - studies have shown a connection between prolonged and repeated sun exposure and the occurrence of melanoma. The sun contains ultraviolet (UV) A and B, prolonged and repeated exposure to these rays tends to cause chemical changes in the DNA of the skin cells. Persistent changes can cause an uncontrolled proliferation of melanocytes (melanoma). This risk is even higher if you have fair skin or if the exposure is associated with repeated sunburns.  
  • Family history of melanoma - if you have family members suffering from melanoma, your risk increases. It is estimated that nearly 10% of melanomas are attributed to genetic predisposition. 
  • Fair skin – you are at higher risk of melanoma if you have fair skin, blond or red hair and light-colored eyes. 
  • Mole – having large moles (over 6 mm) in great quantity is at increased risk of developing melanoma.  
  • Genetic disorder - if you have xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), any less intense sun exposure can lead to skin malignancies: basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, etc. 
  • Exposure to carcinogens - your risk of having melanoma is higher if you are continuously exposed to these chemicals:  

a)    coal tar  

b)    creosote, a wood preservative  

c)    Arsenic compounds in pesticides and radium. 

  • Weakened immune system - having a weakened immune system is an open door for all cancers including melanoma. The conditions that can weaken your immune system include: 

a)    stress 

b)    VIH / sida  

c)    malnutrition  

d)    chronic Leukemia 

e)    cancer or/and treatment 

f)    taking immunosuppressive drugs after an organ transplant. 

 

 

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