Skin Cancer

Chronic Vs. Intermediate Sun Exposure

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 07/04/17

How do melanoma types relate to sun damage?

Chronic sun exposure

In New Zealand, melanoma often affects people who are sun damaged. This type of melanoma:

  • Tends to affect older individuals.
  • Is more common in men.
  • Often occurs on the head and neck.
  • May result in several melanomas.
  • Usually occurs in people who have been exposed to the sun over a long period of time. These are often people that work outdoors, such as builders, farmers and gardeners.
  • Is often a clinical type called lentigo maligna melanoma.
  • Tends to be slow-growing and thin at diagnosis.

Intermediate sun exposure

Melanoma can also affect people who actually don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. This type of melanoma is associated with earlier sunburn, and:

  • Tends to affect younger adults.
  • Is more common in women.
  • Often affects fair-skinned people who have lots of moles.
  • Most often occurs on the trunk of males and on the legs of females.
  • Usually occurs in people who have been exposed to lots of sun occasionally, for example during sunny holidays spent sun-bathing or sailing.
  • Is often a clinical type called superficial spreading melanoma.
  • Can affect several members of one family, who have a genetic tendency to large and odd-looking (atypical) moles as well as melanoma.

Source: dermnetnz.org