What percentage of melanoma is hereditary?
In fair-complexioned individuals worldwide, the majority of melanoma cases are related to environmental factors such as excessive ultraviolet radiation (sun exposure). However, about 5-10% of melanoma cases are inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion.
What is the gene that causes melanoma?
The most common change in melanoma cells is a mutation in the BRAF oncogene, which is found in about half of all melanomas. Other genes that can be affected in melanoma include NRAS, CDKN2A, and NF1. (Usually only one of these genes is affected.)
Does skin cancer run in families?
Genetics: Melanoma can run in families – one in every 10 patients has a family member who also has had the disease.
Can you have melanoma for years and not know?
How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.
Can you live a long life after melanoma?
The overall average 5-year survival rate for all patients with melanoma is 92%. This means 92 of every 100 people diagnosed with melanoma will be alive in 5 years. In the very early stages the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Once melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes the 5-year survival rate is 63%.
Where is melanoma commonly found?
Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, but they are more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women. The neck and face are other common sites.
Does melanoma occur only on exposed skin?
In both men and women, melanoma can occur on skin that hasn’t been exposed to the sun. Melanoma can affect people of any skin tone. In people with darker skin tones, melanoma tends to occur on the palms or soles, or under the fingernails or toenails.
Does melanoma run in the family?
Family history of melanoma
Your risk of melanoma is higher if one or more of your first-degree relatives (parents, brothers, sisters, or children) has had melanoma. Around 10% of all people with melanoma have a family history of the disease.
How do you know if melanoma has spread?
Some — but not all — patients need testing. Testing can help your dermatologist discover whether the melanoma has spread beyond the skin. Medical tests that you may need include blood work and imaging tests like an MRI scan, CAT scan, or x-ray.
What is the best treatment for melanoma?
The main treatment for melanoma is surgical removal, or excision, of the primary melanoma on the skin. The extent of the surgery depends on the thickness of the melanoma. Most melanomas are found when they are less than 1.0 mm thick, and outpatient surgery is often the only treatment needed.