Monday, March 9, 2009
MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new model suggests that six risk factors are strongly associated with melanoma and gives patients and physicians a tool to assess risk, according to research presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology held Mar. 6 to 10 in San Francisco.
Darrell S. Rigel, M.D., of the New York University Medical Center in New York City, and a colleague studied 300 melanoma patients and 300 matched controls and assessed 43 different melanoma risk factors.
The researchers found that six risk factors independently predicted melanoma risk: history of blistering sunburns as a teenager; red or blonde hair; marked freckling of the upper back; family history of melanoma; history of actinic keratoses; and outdoor summer jobs for three or more years as a teenager.
"In the average U.S. population, the lifetime melanoma risk is about 1.5 percent for an invasive melanoma and about 3 percent for all types when you include in situ melanomas," Rigel said in a statement. "So if you have any one of these six factors, your melanoma risk goes up to about a twofold to threefold increase over the general population -- or roughly a 3 percent to 5 percent lifetime risk of developing melanoma with any one of those factors." Compared to people with no risk factors, Rigel said that the melanoma risk is increased by five- to 10-fold in people with two or more of the risk factors and by up to 10- to 20-fold in people with three or more risk factors.
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