Melanoma Causes and Risk Factors

Primary Causes of Melanoma

Sun Exposure is the big one.  When we were all faced with this initial diagnosis of melanoma we wondered… Where did it come from?  I didn’t remember too many sunburns.  Did I ever have those blistering second degree sunburns that we are told are related to skin cancer?  Doesn’t matter whether we remembered it.  Sunburns are one of the biggest causes of Melanoma.

Fairer skinned people and those of us from the northern part of the planet.  Statistically we have a higher likelihood of getting skin cancer and melanoma

One of the last ones I ran into as a cause was tanning booths.  Well I can cross that one off the list for me.  Never been in one and never will.  That always made sense to me that sitting under a bunch of those awful flourescent looking lights was not a good use of my time.


Secondary Causes and Risks

Recently it has come to light that exposure to Viagra and other Erectile Disfunction drugs can cause melanoma.  At least early indications are that the two are correlated and there is some information that the particular way that the ED drugs work on the cellular level can lead to this increased risk of melanoma.

Genetic Risk factors such as the BRAF gene mutation have been found in almost one half of all melanomas.  When I was looking into this I discovered that this BRAF gene is called switch gene of sorts because when it is turned on or switched on it causes the cancer growth.

I’m not going to go through all of the gene risk factors.  You can find that on more medically oriented websites that go deeper into the available research.