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A 34-year-old member asked:

how does a person get melanoma?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tsu-Yi Chuang
Dermatology 50 years experience
Sun and gene: Uv light (heavy-exposures) and genetics (family history of melanoma, oncogene-carriers) are the two biggest reasons. But there are many unknown factors waiting to be discovered.
Dr. Steven Harris
Plastic Surgery 37 years experience
Sun, bad luck: Melanoma can result from exposure to ultraviolet light (sun, tanning beds) or from spontaneous conversion of a long-standing mole. Rarely, people get melanoma on a non-sun-exposed area and don't remember ever seeing a mole there first, but this is rare. It is also possible to get melanoma in the eye or even in the lining of the intestine. This is also very, very rare.
Dr. Hung Khong
Medical Oncology 27 years experience
Sun exposure: The most important cause of melanoma is uv light exposure, whether from the sun or from indoor tanning beds. Uv light exposure is associated with 65% of all melanoma. However, a combination of uv light exposure, environment, and genetics are probably linked in many cases. Hereditary melanoma occurs in less than 10% of patients.
Dr. Travis Kidner
Surgical Oncology 17 years experience
UV radiation: The main reason is exposure to uv radiation from the sun.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the risk factors for melanoma?

5 doctor answers19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karen Han
Dermatology 23 years experience
Multiple: Melanoma risk factors include fair skin, history of sunburns, excessive uv exposure such as from tanning beds, living near the equator or at higher elevations, many (>50) moles or unusual moles, family history of melanoma, and weakened immune system. We can reduce our risk by reducing sun exposure and observe sun safe practices.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Who is at risk for melanoma?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
White people in sun: Sun damage can lead to melanoma and people with fair skin sustain more injury from the sun more rapidly than their darker skinned counterparts. Sun protection from a young age is very important. You can read more at www.Melanomafoundation.Org.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is melanoma diagnosed?

6 doctor answers21 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Benabio
Dermatology 18 years experience
Skin biopsy: Melanoma is a skin cancer and is diagnosed by a skin biopsy.
CA
A 46-year-old member asked:

How long does melanoma take to spread?

6 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
It varies: There are different kinds of melanoma and they grow at different rates. In all types, the deeper the melanoma grows in the skin, the more dangerous it is. Early detection is key, so have any lesions biopsied sooner rather than later. Learn more about abcd's at www.Melanomafoundation.Org.
CA
A 24-year-old member asked:

How quickly does melanoma grow?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christopher Crosby
Dermatology 16 years experience
Don't Wait.: There are actually a number melanoma subtypes. Some can grow slowly over many years and some can progress rapidly over months. Melanoma can be completely cured if it diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages. While certain clinical features and someday genetic tests may provide clues, no one should 'play chicken' with a potential melanoma. In all cases, early diagnosis and treatment is the key.

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Last updated Mar 16, 2017

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