Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most frequent cancers of the skin in white populations. An increased risk in the development of skin cancers has been associated with the combination of several environmental factors (i.e., ultraviolet exposure) and genetic background, including melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) status. In the last few years, advances in the diagnosis of skin cancers provided a great impact on clinical practice. Despite these advances, NMSCs are still the most common malignancy in humans and melanoma still shows a rising incidence and a poor prognosis when diagnosed at an advanced stage. Efforts are required to underlie the genetic and clinical heterogeneity of melanoma and NMSCs, leading to an optimization of the management of affected patients. The clinical implications of the impact of germline MC1R variants in melanoma and NMSCs' risk, together with the additional risk conferred by somatic mutations in other peculiar genes, as well as the role of MC1R screening in skin cancers' prevention will be addressed in the current review.
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