LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A recent study from Cleveland Clinic shows that melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, isn’t just caused by environmental factors.
Researchers discovered genetics can also play a role.
“What we found was that one in six people who have melanoma and other cancers running in their family have a hereditary predisposition to melanoma and other cancers,” said Pauline Funchain.
Dr. Funchain is the lead author on the study, which included 400 patients with melanoma and who have a family history of multiple cancers.
Based on the results, she encourages those with melanoma to get genetic testing done.
If you’re unfamiliar, genetic testing examines your DNS and determines whether you could be at-risk for certain cancers, which can help doctors develop a prevention plan.
Doctor Funchain says in a situation where a person does not have melanoma but their family member does, that the family member with melanoma get genetic testing done first.
“So if that person is a carrier, then we know what gene to look for and then other family members can all look to see if they carry that gene,” said Funchain. “If they don’t currently have melanoma, but let’s say a family member has unfortunately passed from melanoma, there are testing options in that case when you aren’t able to test the person who has the cancer.”
Dr. Funchain says their research is far from over, as her team plans to look further into genetic factors that can cause melanoma.