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Cancer survivors have higher risk of melanoma
December 19th, 2011
05:04 PM ET

Cancer survivors have higher risk of melanoma

Doctors have long known that people who survive one melanoma have a markedly higher risk of developing another of these aggressive skin cancers. Now, for the first time, a study has found that survivors of non-skin cancers also may have an increased risk of melanoma.

The risk was most pronounced among survivors of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. Women who developed breast cancer before age 45 and recovered, for instance, were 38% more likely than women in the general population to develop melanoma later in life.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight (or tanning lamps) is the biggest risk factor for melanoma. The apparent link between melanoma and other cancers, however, may be explained in part by an underlying genetic susceptibility to multiple types of cancer, the researchers say.

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Filed under: Cancer

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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