Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Melanomas?

William James, MD

Disclosures

February 18, 2020

Dysplastic nevi in familial melanoma confers a greatly elevated risk for cutaneous melanoma. Many genes are implicated in the development of melanoma, including CDKN2A (p16), CDK4, RB1, CDKN2A (p19), PTEN/MMAC1, and ras. CDKN2A (p16) appears to be especially important in both sporadic and hereditary melanomas. This tumor-suppressor gene is located on band 9p21, and its mutation plays a role in various cancers.

A previous history of melanoma confers a moderately elevated risk for cutaneous melanoma. Other risk factors in the moderate risk category include one family member with melanoma; sporadic dysplastic nevi; and more than 50 nevi, 2 mm or greater in diameter.

Freckling confers a slightly elevated risk for cutaneous melanoma. Other factors in this category include immunosuppression; sun sensitivity; tanning parlor use; and a history of acute, severe, blistering sunburns. Acute, intense, and intermittent blistering sunburns, especially on areas of the body that only occasionally receive sun exposure and even one exposure to a tanning bed, are the greatest risk factors for the development of sun exposure–induced melanoma. This sun-associated risk factor is different from that for squamous cell skin cancers, which are associated with prolonged, long-term sun exposure. LMM is an exception to this rule, because it frequently appears on the head and neck of older individuals who have a history of long-term sun exposure.

For more on risk factors associated with melanoma, read here.

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