We do not yet know exactly what causes melanoma skin cancer, but we do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, such as smoking, can be controlled. Others, like a person's age or family history, can't be changed.
Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer
Sunlight (UV radiation): Too much exposure to UV radiation is a risk factor for melanoma. The main source of such radiation is sunlight. Tanning lamps and booths are another source.
Moles: A mole (nevus) is a benign (not cancerous) skin tumor. Certain types of moles increase a person's chance of getting melanoma. People with
lots of moles, and those who have some large moles, have an increased risk for melanoma. These people should have frequent skin exams
by a dermatologist (skin doctor). They should also examine their own skin every month and practice good sun protection.
Fair skin: People with fair skin, freckling, or red or blond hair have a higher risk of melanoma
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