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Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight is believed to be a contributing factor to most cases of melanoma; short periods of intense exposure, such as sunbathing puts you at higher risk.

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Sun Safety for Life.


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Melanoma is a cancer that starts in the DNA of melanocytes; the cells responsible for your hair and skin’s color. When their DNA is damaged, it causes the cells to grow uncontrollably leading to a malignant tumor. The damage can be inherited through genetic mutations, but it’s often accumulated over time as a result of environmental factors like UV radiation. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) from the sun and sunbeds plays a leading role in the development of melanoma and is the most preventable cause of this disease. Experts estimate about 90% of melanomas are associated with severe UV exposure and sunburns over a lifetime. 

You can learn more about the Basics of Melanoma here, or scroll to the bottom of the page for other suggested reading. 


Melanoma is more than 10 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Although before age 40, incidence rates are higher in women than in men, after 40, rates are almost twice as high in men as in women. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2% (1 in 50) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics.  In comparison, the lifetime risk of melanoma for in 1930 was 1 in 1500.  Melanoma is one of a handful of cancers where the incidence continues to increase. The death rate for men with melanoma continues to rise. Up to 70% of all melanomas are first identified by the patient themselves or close family members. That’s why it’s so important for you to check your skin and watch for any signs that this cancer might be developing.(more) 


Follow what dermatologists call the Ugly Duckling Rule – if you notice a mole or skin lesion that looks out of place or feels different from the others, get some medical advice. If you’re going to be checking your moles regularly to keep an eye on them (which we hope you are) there are several common kinds of changes that are often associated with the development of melanomas. It’ll be helpful to familiarize yourself with the ABCDEs of Melanoma, so that you know what changes should definitely sound the alarm.


Checking your own skin is simple and straightforward – just download this How To Check instructions to get started. Remember, some people are more likely to develop melanoma because of certain risk factors – but anyone can be affected by this disease. People with no risk factors, and those with darker skin, can also get melanoma and should be checking regularly too.

A video for all those whose lives have been touched by melanoma.


TEAM EARLEY also recommends these sites for information on melanoma.

 Melanoma Foundation of New England
 Melanoma Education Foundation
 US EPA - SunWise UV Forecast
 The American Cancer Society
 The Skin Cancer Foundation
 National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
 CDC - Skin Cancer Prevention
 My Skin Check

This website has been developed by TEAM EARLEY for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical supervision or advice. Consult a qualified health care provider before making any medical decisions or if you have questions about your personal health. TEAM EARLEY has taken care to ensure that the content on is accurate and reliable, but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete. Information and statements regarding tools, products or treatments have not been evaluated by TEAM EARLEY and we cannot guarantee that accuracy of information contained in the various linked sites as the owners of those sites are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their information.

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