Other Risk Factors

A few diseases and conditions other than UV light exposure have been associated with increased risk of melanoma:

Patients with dysplastic nevi (sporadic) have a 10% lifetime risk of developing melanoma, and a 20-fold increased risk over the general population. These melanomas may arise in dysplastic nevi or de novo.

Surgical Oncology, edited by David N. Krag. ©2000 Landes Bioscience.

Table 2.1. Characteristics of ultraviolet light



UVA 320-400 nm

penetrates deeper (dermis) and may be responsible for changes of aging; may play a role in carcinogenesis

UVB 290-320 nm

responsible for sunburn and melanin production; probably the most important for carcinogenesis

200-290 nm should be completely absorbed by the ozone

200-290 nm should be completely absorbed by the ozone

Dysplastic nevus syndrome (B-K mole syndrome, or atypical mole syndrome) is often associated with a family history of melanoma, and when that does occur, the patient has approximately a 100% lifetime risk of melanoma.

Congenital nevi can be characterized as small (< 1.5 cm), medium (1.5-20 cm), or large (> 20 cm). The large congenital nevi have the strongest correlation with increased risk of melanoma, 5-20% lifetime risk. These nevi have an irregular surface, variation in color especially brown, and hypertrichosis. Malignant transformation of these lesions has been reported during childhood.

A familial predisposition is recognized and is thought to be a genetic risk that is modulated by environmental factors. Patients with a family predisposition have a 8-12% chance of cutaneous melanoma. Some have reported evidence of autosomal dominant inheritance with variable penetrance. Patients with a history of previous melanoma have at least a 10-fold increase risk of a subsequent melanoma.

Screening for Melanoma

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment