Risk Of Skin Cancer Depends On Genetics As Well As Sun Exposure, Says New Study

Source: Forbes, June 2022

A new study has suggested that a person’s risk of developing skin cancer is likely caused by genetics, as well as sun exposure. The work led by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic and medical genetics company Invitae is due to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago this week.

The study involved 400 people with melanoma and used commercial genetic testing to look for variants in 85 genes associated with cancer. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer can be particularly dangerous if it is not diagnosed early as it can spread to other parts of the body, making it much harder to treat. Sun exposure is often perceived to be the main risk factor for developing melanoma, but the new study showed that 15.3% of people with melanoma have pre existing variants in genes which are known to correlate with an increased risk of developing cancer.