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Melanoma runs in families: Genetic skin cancer risk revealed

People with a genetic predisposition for developing skin cancer only need a short amount of sun exposure to develop melanoma.

A new study by QMIR Berghofer has revealed a genetic component which triggers melanoma.

Those who have a high genetic risk may develop the skin cancer after a short sun exposure as a child, while others may only develop melanoma after a lifetime of sun exposure.

Those born in Australia are twice as likely to develop melanoma than those who are born overseas and migrate to Australia.

Even when genetic risk is equal, Australian-born people are still more likely to develop melanoma than their foreign-born counterparts.

“Exposure during childhood seems to be a really important period for increasing risk,” QIMR Berghofer Senior Research Officer Dr Catherine Olsen said.

“Once you have a sunburn you actually have damage to your DNA.”

The world’s largest skin cancer medical study is currently underway, for more information or to take part click HERE.

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Image: aydinmutlu

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