Melanoma Risk Assessment ToolMelanoma Risk Assessment Tool

An interactive tool designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, San Francisco, to estimate a person's absolute risk of developing invasive melanoma. The tool helps clinicians identify individuals at higher risk of melanoma in order to plan appropriate screening interventions with them.

JCO Publication

Before using the tool, please note the following:

  • The melanoma risk calculator was designed for use by health professionals during a routine physical examination that includes recording of information about the patient's personal and family medical history and an examination of the skin on the patient's back and shoulders. If you are not a health professional, you are strongly encouraged to discuss the results obtained with this tool and your personal risk of melanoma with your doctor.

  • The MRAT risk calculator may be updated periodically as new data or research becomes available.

  • This tool should not be used to estimate melanoma risk for people who have already had a diagnosis of melanoma, melanoma-in-situ, non-melanoma skin cancer, or a family history of melanoma. These individuals should be in screening and surveillance programs.

  • The melanoma risk calculator was developed using data from a large case-control study in the United States. Risks are estimated for non-Hispanic whites only; data for other races/ethnicities are too limited to accurately estimate risk.

  • A recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Netscape is recommended.

  • For information to help your patients understand cancer risk visit This interactive Web site will help your patients make informed decisions about how to lower their risk.

  • Questions

(Click a question number for a brief explanation, or read all explanations.)

1. Does the patient live in the Northern, Central, or Southern United States?  

Map of US geographic regions.
Skip map explanation, go to question 2.

Caution: This map is only a guide. The final choice of region should be made by the health care provider. The model on which the tool is based is valid only for residents of the continental United States.

[ Map Explanation ]

2. What is the patient's gender?
Please note: This tool uses gender-specific risk models.  It requires different information of male patients than female patients.  The answer to this question will determine what other questions are asked below.
3. What is the patient's race?  
4. What is the patient's age?  
5. Ask the patient: Did you ever get a blistering sunburn?  
6. Ask the patient: Is your complexion light, medium, or dark?  
7. Ask the patient: After repeated and prolonged exposure to sunlight, at the age you are now, would your skin become very brown and deeply tanned, moderately tanned, lightly tanned or not tan at all?  
8. How many moles larger than 5mm in diameter are on the patient's back?  
9. How many moles less than or equal to 5mm in diameter are on the patient's back?  
9. How many moles less than or equal to 5mm in diameter are on the patient's back?  
10. How extensive is the freckling on the patient's back and shoulders?  
Examples of freckling on patients' backs.
11. Does the patient have severe solar damage on the shoulders?  
Example of severe solar damage to the shoulders.
Calculate Risk

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National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health