Melanoma Risk Factors & Prevention

Facts about Melanoma

  • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types
  • Melanoma accounts for 1% of skin cancers, but causes majority of skin cancer deaths
    • It is estimated that 3,800 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in Georgia in 2021 alone
  • Melanoma rates have been rising rapidly over the past few decades
  • Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in white people than in African Americans
    • 1 in 38 (2.6%) of white people, 1 in 1,000 (0.1%) of black people, and 1 in 167 (0.6%) of Hispanic people have a lifetime risk of getting melanoma
  • Melanoma is more common in men overall, but more common in women before the age of 50
  • Melanoma is also one of the most common cancers in young adults

Melanoma Risk Factors:

  • Sunlight exposure
  • Having moles
  • Being fair-skinned
  • Having freckles and light hair
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Having a weakened immune system

Melanoma Prevention:

There is no sure way to prevent or screen for melanoma. You can do the following to reduce your risk:

  • Limit your exposure to UV rays
  • Watch for abnormal moles
  • Avoid weakening your immune system