Risk Factors of Melanoma

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) is the only known environmental risk factor for developing melanoma of the skin. Other risk factors include:

  • A strong family history of the disease, possibly indicating a gene mutation
  • Large numbers of benign moles
  • Abnormal or atypical moles
  • Light-colored hair and eyes
  • A history of melanoma or other skin cancers
  • A history of severe sunburn during childhood
  • The use of sun lamps and tanning beds 

For more information or to schedule a consultation with a melanoma specialist at Virginia Mason, in Seattle, call (206) 223-6831.