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Can melanoma be genetic

Forums Mucosal Melanoma Community Can melanoma be genetic

  • Post
    sks2019
    Participant
    looking at my mom’s struggles and her fight with the disease , I am terrified to think everyday that i might get it too. I am 39 yrs ols with two boys 7 and 10. This thought haunts me everyday and has changed the way I look at life and live it. I am not interested in anything anymore and dont find joy in my profressional life or personal life thinking what its worth at the end.

    Has anyone seen melanoma to be geneticaly passed or more specially mucosal melanoma to be genetic ? Mom could only get 2 years after daignosis. She is in ICU for last 16 days and doctors are telling me to stop all treatments for her and focus on getting her comfortable. My heart breaks and bleeds every moment to see her like this. Such a horrible disease.

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      THMoore
      Participant
      I asked MDA that exact thing when I was diagnosed. They explained to me that 50% of melanoma patients carry a V600 gene mutation but said there was no statistical, or clinical data showing that melanoma is passed down to children I researched back to my great great grand parents and all siblings along with 1st and 2nd cousins. No one had melanoma. I am the first. I was misdiagnosed several times to include MDA. I had annual dermatology checks for the past 10 years. Not once did I even have a mole that looked suspicious. My melanoma is what they call a unknown primary. In other words, I was a late stage right out of the gate. I felt a lump on my neck. Came up overnight. My best advise to you is, get annual checks and blood work. Go live life and have a blast with your kids. You are a special lady. Your mom is a lucky woman. Sending HUGS, thoughts and prayers to your family.

      Trent

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        THMoore
        Participant
        MDA did ask me about family and family members. They explained it to me like this, if someone had or had melanoma. they recommend letting all members know and to be checked annually to include self checks. My dad died of colon cancer so I have had colonoscopy’s every 3 to 4 years since I was 35. So Bubbles gave you excellent information. Wished she was there when I was diagnosed. Anyway, I look at the positive side to this terrible desease. Now that you know, you can be more proactive to catch this desease if you were to ever get it. Just don’t let it stop you from living on what if’s. Life and love life to the fullest. You are a special lady and your moon has a Angel taking care of her. Sending prayers, hugs to you and your family. God bless u.

        Trent

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      Bubbles
      Participant
      Unfortunately, in most cases of melanoma, there is an increased risk for family members, albeit a small one. As posted above, I too have no family member with the disease and can trace numerous generations on both sides. However, for the sake of my own children – I have researched this rather carefully. A small subset of individuals with melanoma have a specific set of mutations that leads to high risk for melanoma in first degree family members, this is often referred to as “familial melanoma”. The cancer.net editorial board notes, “A child who has a parent with a mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting that mutation.” Genetic testing for that kind of melanoma shows an alteration in one of two genes – CDKN2A or CDK4. Obviously that is not a mutation that is present in ALL melanomas.

      Here is a link some information regarding melanoma and heritability from The Skin Cancer Foundation:

      They note the following:

      “Family history
      Melanoma can run in families. In fact, about one in every 10 patients diagnosed with melanoma has a family member with a history of the disease. If one or more close biological relatives – parents, brothers, sisters or children – had melanoma, you are at increased risk. Compared to people with no family history of melanoma, each person with a first-degree relative diagnosed with melanoma has a greater chance of developing the disease. That’s why, when a melanoma is diagnosed, doctors often recommend that close relatives be examined for melanoma.

      “Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome (FAMMM)
      If you have hereditary risk factors as well as many atypical moles, your risk of developing melanoma is even higher. This combination of family history and having many unusual moles is often referred to as Familial Atypical Multiple Mole Melanoma syndrome (FAMMM).

      Genetic discoveries
      In the case of some familial melanomas, researchers have discovered DNA changes in tumor suppressor genes, including CDKN2A (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A) and BAP1 (BRCA1 associated protein-1). These changes prevent the genes from doing their normal job of controlling cell growth, giving damaged cells less chance to repair before progressing to cancer. Another tumor suppressor gene, MC1R (melanocortin 1 receptor) also increases the risk for melanoma. Families suspected of having melanoma genes can be screened to identify members that carry a defective gene.

      What you can do
      Be on the lookout: If you have FAMMM or other hereditary risk factors, be sure to self-check more frequently and visit your dermatologist often for thorough professional skin exams.

      Start early: Children in melanoma-prone families need special attention. Some doctors recommend skin checks at puberty and during adolescence.

      The good news is that the survival rate for familial melanoma is even higher than that for non-familial melanomas – most likely because these families are carefully watching and melanomas are usually found while the cancer is very early and more likely to be cured.

      Protect against UV rays: You can reduce the melanoma risk posed by UV radiation by taking simple, smart protective measures. Safeguard your skin against the sun every day, even when it’s cloudy. Avoid indoor tanning entirely. Get more details here: Skin Cancer Prevention Guidelines.”

      NOW. With that knowledge, the best you can do is be proactive. Use appropriate skin care and sun safety. Talk to your mom’s docs about any specific mutations noted. Ask for her tumor (they should have plenty of specimens on slides already) be tested for the mutations above if you are really concerned about that. But most of all. LIVE. Live for your children. Live for you. Live for your mom. I know that she wishes you nothing but a happy active life where you find simple joys and fun adventures.

      I know that both of you have been through complete hell. I know you are grieving for things the two of you have lost and will not be able to share in the future. I have endured many losses in my life. It is not easy. Grief must be felt, endured and dealt with. But I feel that those I have lost live on – in my heart, in my life, in my every day. If YOU live – your mom can, too.

      I hold the two of you in my heart. Celeste

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        sks2019
        Participant
        thanks for sharing the lovely thoughts Celeste , Looking at mom’s family and no one had melanoma , infact when she was diagnosed i googled “melanoma” .
        when i searched for familial melanoma it came with the gene CDKN2A , which is what mom has . It says CDKN2A deep depletion. Terrified is a small word right now.

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        poppymac
        Participant
        hi,i had an aunt died when I was 6 from what I thought was breast cancer I only learned a couple of years ago it was melanoma and another aunt had a malignant mole removed from sole of her foot at 75 it returned in same place when she was 85 she’s now 90 and ok
        I attributed to hers age

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        Daisy2018
        Participant
        How is your mom doing? Any positive progress?

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      AMcReader
      Participant
      Unfortunately, in my family, melanoma is genetic. On my father’s side my father, great-grandmother and great-great uncle have all passed away from melanoma. I was first diagnosed with melanoma at 8 years old (now stage IV) and my grandmother, uncle and aunt have all been diagnosed with Stage I melanoma. I’m happy to see this kind of family history is rare, but it certainly does exist.

      However, I’ve always tried to see it in a more positive light as a known enemy, which to me makes it more approachable than the unknown. You can take all the preemptive steps to protect your skin and your family’s, you can regularly see a dermatologist and you can self-monitor. You have a lot of tools and our melanoma arsenal continues to grow!

      I was with my dad when he passed away and it happened in less than 2 months, so I do know how terrible and scary the end of melanoma can be. I’m so sorry that you are in such a horrible position with your mom right now — I’ll be thinking of you. But, try not to fret too much about your family history right now, you have a lot tools if you need them.

      Sending you virtual hugs.

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      AMcReader
      Participant
      Unfortunately, in my family, melanoma is genetic. On my father’s side my father, great-grandmother and great-great uncle have all passed away from melanoma. I was first diagnosed with melanoma at 8 years old (now stage IV) and my grandmother, uncle and aunt have all been diagnosed with Stage I melanoma. I’m happy to see this kind of family history is rare, but it certainly does exist.

      However, I’ve always tried to see it in a more positive light as a known enemy, which to me makes it more approachable than the unknown. You can take all the preemptive steps to protect your skin and your family’s, you can regularly see a dermatologist and you can self-monitor. You have a lot of tools and our melanoma arsenal continues to grow!

      I was with my dad when he passed away and it happened in less than 2 months, so I do know how terrible and scary the end of melanoma can be. I’m so sorry that you are in such a horrible position with your mom right now — I’ll be thinking of you. But, try not to fret too much about your family history right now, you have a lot tools if you need them.

      Sending you virtual hugs.

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      AMcReader
      Participant
      Unfortunately, in my family, melanoma is genetic. On my father’s side my father, great-grandmother and great-great uncle have all passed away from melanoma. I was first diagnosed with melanoma at 8 years old (now stage IV) and my grandmother, uncle and aunt have all been diagnosed with Stage I melanoma. I’m happy to see this kind of family history is rare, but it certainly does exist.

      However, I’ve always tried to see it in a more positive light as a known enemy, which to me makes it more approachable than the unknown. You can take all the preemptive steps to protect your skin and your family’s, you can regularly see a dermatologist and you can self-monitor. You have a lot of tools and our melanoma arsenal continues to grow!

      I was with my dad when he passed away and it happened in less than 2 months, so I do know how terrible and scary the end of melanoma can be. I’m so sorry that you are in such a horrible position with your mom right now — I’ll be thinking of you. But, try not to fret too much about your family history right now, you have a lot tools if you need them.

      Sending you virtual hugs.

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      tkoss
      Participant
      no cancer of any kind on either side of family. doc’s have said its like 100% from exposure.

      in my case that exposure was over 40+ years ago. that’s the last time i had any really prolonged sun exposure to point of burning. i guess it could be cumulative and after a childhood with lots of exposure maybe just a few incidents over the years kicked it into gear.

      norwegian/irish so fair haired fair skinned. i always burned never tanned.

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      JudiAU
      Participant
      My grandfather had two separate melanomas removed from his ears. He had a lot of sun exposure. I have a lot of moles. My husband has a lot of moles. Our kids will have a lot of moles. We take their skin protection very seriously. My 13, 11 had facial moles requiring a plastic surgeon removed this year.

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