Melanoma Prevention

At the OSUCCC – James, cancer researchers and world-renowned diagnostic experts continually focus on studying melanoma prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. In fact, the OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in leading-edge therapies and discoveries, leading to even more highly targeted care and treatment.

Screening for Melanoma

Cancer screening exams can help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are greatest. These tests are usually done when the patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Although there are currently no screening tests recommended to detect cases of melanoma that show no signs or symptoms, expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James are working to develop tests that can detect and diagnose the disease as early as possible, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

Because early detection is crucial, the OSUCCC – James dermatologists and melanoma specialists regularly offer screening clinics for potential skin cancers. Additionally, our High Risk Clinic focuses on monitoring patients who are at increased risk for melanoma and other skin cancers.

If you have risk factors for melanoma, you should regularly examine moles and other skin lesions.

If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a melanoma specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

Melanoma Risk Factors

A cancer risk factor is anything that increases your risk of developing the disease. Risk factors for melanoma include unusual moles, exposure to sunlight and health history.

Other risk factors for melanoma include:

  • Having a fair complexion, which includes the following:
    • Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan or tans poorly
    • Blue or green or other light-colored eyes
    • Red or blond hair
  • Exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time. 
  • Exposure to certain environmental risk factors, such as radiation, solvents, vinyl chloride and PCBs, an industrial chemical that was banned in the United States in 1979. 
  • Having a history of many blistering sunburns, especially as a child or teenager 
  • Having several large or many small moles 
  • Having a family history of unusual moles (known as atypical nevus syndrome) 
  • Having a family or personal history of melanoma Having a weakened immune system 
  • Having certain changes in the genes that are linked to melanoma

Although having a fair complexion increases melanoma risk, anyone, including people with dark skin, can develop the disease.

You can lower your risk for melanoma and other skin cancers by minimizing exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, sunlamps and tanning beds.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Not everyone with risk factors will get melanoma. But having certain risk factors may increase your risk of developing the disease. If you are at risk for developing melanoma, talk to your doctor about tests to find out if you have early signs of the disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a melanoma specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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Patient Story

Patient Stories Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop

After Kelly Bishop learned she had melanoma, she received treatment that included surgery and immunotherapy from the OSUCCC – James. Now, she considers her treatment team family.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066