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Melanoma Death Rate Still Climbing

Posted: June 19, 2006

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People at greatest risk for skin cancer are those who spend a lot of time in the sun and have fair skin. "We know that sunburn and chronic sun exposures bump up the risk of skin cancer," Gross said.

Family history also plays a part in determining whether you're apt to get skin cancer, he added. People with relatives who have contracted skin cancer should pay closer attention to abnormalities on their skin.

"Things that might be a little suspicious on someone else might be quite suspicious on you, and you might want to worry a little more," Gross said.

People with freckles or moles are at increased risk of melanoma, so they should inspect their moles often and keep track of any changes in them. You also should note any changes in your skin, including odd sores, lumps, blemishes or markings.

"Pay attention for the ugly duckling, the mole that doesn't fit in, the mole that has changed," Bastian said.