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[5 min read] How gene variations affect melanoma risk
Australian scientists have identified a way to help primary care physicians determine a patient’s risk of developing melanoma.
A team at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute uncovered the specific gene variations affecting the number and types of moles that appear on the body, and their role in causing skin cancer.
The research aimed to investigate the genetic underpinnings of different naevi types and understand how these affect melanoma risk.
Based on this work, the number of moles in each category can give a more complete assessment of melanoma risk rather than just the number of moles alone.
Three key mole classes – reticular, globular and non-specific – were magnified under a dermatoscope to assess their pattern and risk factors.
The study found that people who had more non-specific mole patterns increased their melanoma risk by two per cent with every extra mole carried.
As patients age, they tend to increase the amount of non-specific moles on their body, and the risk of developing melanoma increases.