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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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    What is prevention?

    Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective...

    Read the What is prevention? 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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