Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously. Patient Comments FAQs

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users.

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient:Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

Enter your Comment

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

What are the causes and risk factors for melanoma?

Guideline # 5: Individual sunburns do raise one's risk of melanoma. However, slow daily sun exposure, even without burning, may also substantially raise someone's risk of skin cancer.

Factors that raise one's risk for melanoma include the following:

  • Caucasian (white) ancestry
  • Fair skin, light hair, and light-colored eyes
  • A history of intense, intermittent sun exposure, especially in childhood
  • Many (more than 100) moles
  • Large, irregular, or "funny looking" moles
  • Close blood relatives -- parents, siblings, and children -- with melanoma

The presence of close (first-degree) family with melanoma is a high risk factor, although looking at all cases of melanoma, only 10% of cases run in families.

Having a history of other sun-induced skin cancers, such as the much more common basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas, indirectly raises one's risk of melanoma because they are markers of long-term sun exposure. The basic cell type is different, however, and a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma cannot "turn into melanoma" or vice versa.

Return to Melanoma

See what others are saying

Comment from: KelsEllie, Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I'm a 26 year old female that has lived on the coast most of my life. I was an ocean lifeguard for the last three summers and now live in the cloudless, blue skies of Colorado. I have red hair, very pale skin and freckles and got at least 5 severe sunburns growing up, before I realized how important taking care of your skin was. Two of those sunburns had me in the emergency room for steroids. I just had a hysterectomy in April. I have a history of endometriosis and HPV (human papilloma virus) as well as cervical cancer. All 3 of these things have been linked to higher risks of developing melanoma, and this is in addition to my risk factors of hair and skin color. I'm having a very scary mole removed this Wednesday. The mole is on my stomach, right in the middle, about 3 inches above my navel. It used to be small and red, but in the last 2 months it has changed back and forth between light red, bright red and black. That cycle continues. It is asymmetrical, has uneven borders, is raised and discolored. I'm so freaking scared.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: deblf, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

My biggest concern about melanoma is that I have shown two different dermatologists my new black dot spots which have been disregarded as nothing, even though one doctor's physician's assistant already found a 1st stage melanoma on my upper right arm. Both dermatologists have never heard of black dot melanoma so my black dots are also nothing! I just found out today that my white blood count is high, which it never is when I am sick, even with severe upper respiratory infections and related illnesses such as bronchitis or even pneumonia. We are in Montana and specialists, even doctors are hard to find in this sparsely populated state. Thanks for listening.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Mamat78, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

My sister passed away at the very young age of 31 as a result of melanoma. I was diagnosed with stage 1B melanoma four years ago. It was removed surgically; I went in every six months for a check. I have been cancer free, but the fear is so great. I have been told a lot of the time it will return; sometimes it actually will be in the same area that it was removed.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors