Familial melanoma

A small number of families have a greater risk of melanoma because they've inherited a change in a specific gene. Contact a family cancer centre if you have a personal history of:

  • melanoma at an early age (average age of familial melanoma is 33 years)
  • more than one primary melanoma
  • a large number of moles (more than 10 on the arms and 200 on the body)
  • multiple atypical moles (moles that have an irregular border, slight variation in colour, or asymmetry)
  • melanoma on areas of the body that haven't been exposed to the sun, or
  • a family history.

A family history of melanoma

  • multiple cases of melanoma on the same side of the family
  • melanoma occurring at an early age
  • ocular (eye) melanoma
  • pancreatic cancer or breast cancer in more than one family member
  • several relatives who have the same type of cancer.

Call Cancer Council on 13 11 20 for more information. If you're worried about your risk of melanoma based on your family history, contact your doctor or nearest family cancer centre.

Updated: 09 Feb, 2015