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Why Redheads Are More Susceptible to Melanoma

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Redheaded girl on a beachWe’ve long known that redheads are 10 to 100 times more vulnerable than people with other hair colors to melanoma, a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer. What we haven’t known is why. Why would the hue of your hair have anything to do with your cancer risk? When you consider that melanoma is our most deadly form of skin cancer— expected to cause some 77,000 cases and 9,400 deaths this year alone—it’s important to figure out the connection. A new study [1], led by NIH-funded researchers in Boston, has identified a couple of key links.