An NYU study was released last week that reported of a genetic variation in women under the age of 50 that causes them to be four times likely to be at risk for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
Melanoma is more common among women than in men under the age of 40. Between ages 40-50, it's about equal, and then, over the age of 50, men have higher numbers. Researchers suspect estrogen, in the presence of the potentially dangerous genetic variation, may be a huge factor for the number jumps.
Though it's still very important to be careful when it comes to sun exposure -- which is known to be a cause of melanoma -- Dr. David Polsky, who is the lead author in the study, says, "We might want to have increased surveillance of those patients [pre-menopausal women with the genetic variation] including more frequent visits to the doctor, more rigorous teaching of skin self-examination, and other preventative steps."
The good news is, by knowing you're at high risk, you're more likely to take preventative steps, like home exams.
I'm definitely going to pay more attention to any unusual spots on my body from here on out! What about you?