Risk Factors for Melanoma

A risk factor raises a person’s chances of acquiring or developing cancer. However, the risk factors can also influence cancer development, and the majority of them do not cause cancer straight away.

The significant fact that both gives and takes away hope is that some people with multiple risk factors never get cancer, whereas others with no risk factors or signs do. Having a clear understanding of your risk factors and discussing them with your medical practitioner or doctor may help you make better lifestyle and health care decisions. 

The following factors may increase a person’s chances of acquiring Melanoma.

Exposure to UV rays / Sun

The ultraviolet radiation that the Sun emits has a significant influence on the development of skin cancer. Skin Cancer is likely to develop in those located at high elevations or in places with annual intense sun exposure. The chances of developing are also high in people who spend a lot of time outdoors on days when there is extreme sun exposure.

To lower the chances of developing Melanoma, one needs to avoid sunbathing recreational activities. The UV radiation emitted by the Sun is more interconnected to Melanoma. Still, the current evidence suggests that it can also play a role in the development or maturity of Melanoma and basal and squamous cell skin cancers. Even though the UV radiations can effectively cause sunburn, they cannot break through the windows and the other types of glasses but can penetrate through a few types of glasses, which can cause ageing and wrinkles and skin cancer. As a result, it is very important to shield your skin from these radiations. 

Indoor Tanning

Indoor tanning is good to pick. People who use tanning beds, tanning salons, and sun lamps are more likely to develop any type of skin cancer. There exists a strong advice against Indoor tanning beds.

Family History

About 10% of melanoma cases and patients have a family history of the disease. A patient’s individual chance of having Melanoma is much higher than an average individual if a close relative has been diagnosed with the disease. Suppose numerous family members in different areas have been diagnosed with Melanoma, the chance of the occurrence increases. As a result, it is always advised that the close relatives of melanoma patients have their skin evaluated regularly. 

Familial Melanoma –

Melanoma can run across families. Although mutations in specific genes such as CDKN2A, CDK4, P53 and MITF have been discovered to cause Melanoma, they are very uncommon. Only a tiny percentage of melanoma cases / prone households carry these genetic abnormalities from generation to generation. Other genes and different factors like the environment may influence a person’s risk of developing Melanoma, and the research scientists are investigating other cancer cases. 

Other inherited conditions –

Melanoma is very common in people with certain congenital genetic diseases, such as xeroderma pigmentosum, retinoblastoma, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Werner syndrome, and some of the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes. 

Moles  –

Melanoma is more likely to occur in those with many moles or strange moles termed dysplastic nevi or atypical moles. So what are dysplastic nevi? They are large moles with uneven colour and also shape. In order to monitor skin regularly, a medical practitioner may advise a person with many moles to have their skin regularly photographed.

Fair Skin

Melanoma is more likely to occur in those with a fair complexion, red or blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. The people whose skin tends to burn rather than tan are also at very high risk. 

Weakened or suppressed immune system –

Skin cancer, including Melanoma, is more likely in those with a weaker immune system or taking certain medicines that decrease immunological activity. 


Melanoma rates are almost 20 times greater in white individuals than in black individuals. On the other hand, Melanoma can affect people of any colour or ethnicity. 


Melanoma diagnosis accounts for a Median age of 50. On the other hand, the mean or the average age of people diagnosed with Melanoma is 65. The median is midway, which suggests that around half of those diagnosed with Melanoma are under 50, while the other half are above 50. Young individuals are more likely to get Melanoma than people of any other age group.

Skin Cancer

People who have already had Melanoma are more likely to get diagnosed again. The dreadful disease is more likely to occur in people who have had basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. As a result, people who have had skin cancers previously require regular follow up care to keep an eye out for new or its recurrence.