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Risk Factors

There is no one causal factor for developing melanoma. Factors that are associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include:

Appearance
Including fair skin that burns or freckles easily, blue or green eyes, and blonde or red hair
Sunlight exposure
Exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) energy (eg. tanning beds).
Many moles
Having many moles, both normal and atypical.
History of sunburn
History of sunburns that caused blistering, especially in childhood.
Personal and/or family history
Personal and/or family history of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Age
Risk increasing with age.
Close to the equator
Living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation.
Gender
In Australia and New Zealand, melanoma is more common in men than in women.
Weakened immune system
From disease or side effects of medicines.

Remember any percentage of melanoma risk means you are at risk of melanoma. Prevention and early detection save lives!

“Two weeks before taking my 90-year-old father to China in October 2019, I felt a lump in my neck and mentioned it to my doctor when I went to get my certificate of medication to take with me on my holiday.”
Carol Saunders
MPA Patient Story - Carol Saunders standing at lookout with view of water behind