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No cancer, including melanoma, can ever be prevented with 100% certainty. Some risk factors for melanoma, such as skin type and family history, cannot be changed. Sometimes melanoma may develop despite your best efforts to prevent it from occurring.


The good news is the risk factors for melanoma are well known. Being aware of these risk factors allows you to take steps to detect the disease before it has a chance to grow and spread, and when treatment is more likely to result in a cure. An awareness of the environmental risk factors allows you to reduce significantly your risk of developing melanoma.


Since the primary environmental risk factor for melanoma is overexposure to the sun's damaging rays, known as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, learning how you can protect yourself from UV radiation can help you reduce your risk of melanoma.