Three genetic faults can increase the risk of skin cancer

Three genetic faults can increase the risk of skin cancer

Scientists have discovered three genetic faults which increase the risk of developing melanoma - the deadliest skin cancer.

The faults are not related to hair, skin or eye colour, the usual indicators of vulnerability to getting skin cancer.

Research has already shown a link between melanoma, pigmentation and moles.

Scientists hope the discovery could lead to more targeted treatments for the growing number of people likely to develop deadly melanoma, which is linked to UV rays.

Lead author, professor Tim Bishop, based in the Cancer Research UK centre at the University of Leeds, said: "We know that overexposure to UV increases the risk of developing melanoma but this evidence shows that there are new additional genetic faults which can push up the risk further.

"It's fascinating to discover these new melanoma risk factors, and we expect that the results of similar studies under way will reveal even more."

The average risk of developing melanoma is about one in 60 but this increases to one in 46 if a person has both copies of all three gene faults.

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