Our natural risk depends on our genes – the instructions that our bodies use to grow and repair themselves.
To decide the risk to family members, doctors look for signs of high-risk genes within the family.
Those signs are:
- More than one case of melanoma within a family.
The more cases of melanoma the more likely there will be a high-risk gene in that family. However, more than one case might occur by chance alone or because the family live somewhere with a high environmental risk (somewhere sunny like Australia).
- More than one case of melanoma in a single family member.
When a person develops more than one melanoma they may have a high-risk gene.
- Melanoma occurring earlier than usual.
Most cases of melanoma are in people aged 50 or older. When melanomas develop in younger people it may be due to high-risk genes.
The questions your doctor might ask...
Gene testing and Gene mutations
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