Melanoma Causes

melanoma skin cancer sites

Most common areas of skin cancer development in men and women.

Melanoma has no single cause, but there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of this type of skin cancer occurring. Ultraviolet light exposure is a major risk factor, whether this is from the sun or from tanning beds and sun lamps producing artificial UV light. People who have skin that burns easily or freckles easily are at an increased risk of melanoma, as are those with light skin, eyes, or hair or who suffered severe sunburn in childhood.

Where a person has more than fifty moles on their body there is an increased likelihood of melanoma occurring, and if those moles are unusually shaped or appear larger or darker than other moles the risk is also increased. Those who have previously suffered melanoma are also at added risk, as are those with a family history of this type of skin cancer although some people develop melanoma with none of these risk factors present. In other forms of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, it is thought that particular detoxifying cells may play a role in the development of skin cancer although no such link has been found as a cause of melanoma.


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