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    What Increases Your Risk

    A risk factor for melanoma is something that increases your chance of getting this cancer. Having one or more of these risk factors can make it more likely that you will get melanoma. But it doesn't mean that you will definitely get it. And many people who get melanoma don't have any of these risk factors.

    Risk factors for melanoma include:1

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    Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer

    If you've had skin cancer, you don't need to stay indoors and read a book while everyone else is out riding a bike or at a ball game. You do need to be extra careful in the sun, though. "We want to encourage a healthy lifestyle," says Lisa Chipps, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. But once you've had a skin cancer, she says, you're more likely to have another. If you've had a melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, you're nine times more likely to have a new one...

    Read the Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer article > >

    • Too much exposure to the sun's UV rays. This includes:
      • Having had blistering sunburns at any time of life.
      • Getting intense sun exposure every now and then.
    • Fair skin that doesn't tan and tends to sunburn or freckle, along with blue or green eyes or red or blond hair.
    • Numerous moles and/or more than one atypical mole.
    • A large mole you have had since birth.
    • A personal or family history of melanoma.
    • Changes in your genes, like the change that causes a skin disease called Xeroderma pigmentosum.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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