According to the American Melanoma Foundation (AMF), melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in women, and has been linked to excessive sun exposure as a child, particularly between the ages of 10 and 18. Just five sunburns in your lifetime doubles your risk of developing skin cancer, and the AMF reports that 80% of lifetime sun damage occurs during childhood
Get checked annually, especially if you have a family history of skin cancer, and semi-annually if you've been treated for melanoma.
Additionally, conduct a self exam for any new or suspicious looking moles on your body. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the ABCDEs of melanoma with instructions on what to look for and an illustrated document.