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You are here: ORS Hospital > Skin lesions > Melanoma > Determine your melanoma risk factors

Melanoma risk factors

Any person that intensely exposes his/her skin to the Sun or uses UV lamps (sun beds) to get a tan, carries a risk for developing melanoma. However, there are persons that carry greater risk than the rest of the population.

If You fill out the following questionnaire, You will be able to tell if You are a person that carries greater risk for developing melanoma. Keep in mind that risk doesn’t necessarily mean always developing melanoma. If You are a person that carries moderate and especially high risk, You should take preventive measures, and contact Your physician for detailed information in any case.

Persons with light, pale skin which is also reddish are highly susceptible to sunlight, they always get redness, and can’t achieve a bronze tan. Because of that, skin damage occurs more easily in these persons, and with it, a drop in it’s immune function, which lays a setup for developing melanoma

Do You have light to reddish skin?

Freckles are commonly spotted on the nose or cheeks, but can be spotted all over the face, shoulders, upper arms, forearms and rarely on other parts of the skin. They also imply that there is a high sensitivity to the Sun

Do You have freckles on Your face?

Persons with reddish hair are also highly susceptible to the Sun, and to developing all kinds of skin damage and melanoma as well. Persons with reddish hair usually have light to reddish skin and freckles.

Is Your hair reddish?

Existence of melanoma in the immediate family, up to the 3rd degree, presents a significant risk factor for developing melanoma.

Does anyone in Your immediate family already have a diagnosis of Melanoma?

All persons that have already had a diagnosed melanoma carry greater risk for developing melanoma further along in life.

Did You already have a diagnosed Melanoma?

Dysplastic mole presents one of the most significant signs that point to the possibility of developing melanoma.

Did You have a diagnosed Dysplastic nevus?

Previous existence of a basal cell carcinoma is a significant risk factor for developing melanoma.

Did You already have a diagnosed Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Presence of a large number of moles on our body is also considered to be a certain risk factor.

How many moles are there on Your body?

Presence of atypical moles on our body is also considered to be a certain risk factor.

How many atypical moles are there on Your body?

Giant congenital nevi present one of the leading risk factors for developing melanoma.

Do You have a gigantic congenital nevus (greater than 30cm (12”) in diameter?

Any redness that follows sun exposure presents a risk factor, but if You had blisters or intense “peeling” of the skin after sun exposure, the risk for developing melanoma is increased.

How many times did You have sun burn in the form of blisters?

Sun spots on the shoulders and on the top half of the back are noticed as hyperpigmentations darker than the surrounding skin. They are level with the skin, up to a few mm in size, irregular in shape and are permanently present. They point to the fact that intense repeating sunburns were present in those places.

Do You have permanent sun spots in the region of Your shoulders and back?

Any redness after sun tanning indicates skin damage. If You happen to not notice it, pain in sun exposed regions, even to the mildest touch should warn You.

Did You have painful redness after sun tanning?

Sun spots on the shoulders and on the top half of the back are noticed as hyperpigmentations darker than the surrounding skin. They are level with the skin, up to a few mm in size, irregular in shape and are permanently present. They point to the fact that intense repeating sunburns were present in those places.

Do You have permanent sun spots in the region of Your shoulders and back?

There is no such thing as a safe usage of sunbeds to get a tan. Use of sunbeds in young individuals represents a special risk.

Did You use a sunbed to get a tan?

Risk for developing melanoma increases in persons under immunosuppressive therapy as well as with use of PUVA therapy (UVA light ranging from 320 do 400 nm).

Are You under immunosuppressive therapy or PUVA therapy?

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