University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Take On Cancer

Take On Cancer is what we do at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. In a world where 1 in 2.5 people will hear "it's cancer," we want to make sure that you are able to take on cancer too.

Knowledge is everything - stay engaged, informed and prepared.

Genetic Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

family riding on bikes together

Many factors can increase the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Some of these factors are due to behaviors, like exposure to the sun. However, some risk factors for skin cancers are inherited in families.

Genetics and Melanoma

Researchers have identified several genetic risk factors for melanoma. Mutations (or changes) in these genes can cause increased risk for melanoma. The best understood gene associated with melanoma risk is called CDKN2A (also sometimes known as p16). Mutations in another gene, MC1R, result in red hair and fair skin, and are also associated with risk for melanoma. More recently, mutations in the MITF gene and the TERT gene have been identified in families with multiple cases of melanoma. Researchers are still learning about how to use genetic testing to help take care of families with genetic risk.

Read more about genetic risk factors for skin cancer.

Prevention Videos

Preparedness Videos