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More than 11 moles on an arm may indicate skin cancer risk

The mass media have reported on a new study published  this week that found people with 11 or more moles on their arm were likely to have over 100 moles on their body – a known risk factor for the melanoma type of skin cancer.

The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, used data from 3,000 twins in the UK.  Researchers from King’s College London studied a large group of female twins over a period of eight years, collecting information on skin type, freckles and moles on their bodies. After repeating the exercise on a smaller group of around 400 men and women with melanoma, they came up with a quick and easy way to assess the risk of skin cancer.

Females with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having more than 50 on their whole body.

Those with more than 11 on their right arm were more likely to have more than 100 on their body in total, meaning they were at a higher risk of developing a melanoma.

The findings could help GP’s to identify those with an increased risk of developing a melanoma.

Below are some useful Healthy Performance skin cancer facts for anyone or any employees concerned they might be at a higher risk:

  • Melanoma can spread to other tissues and organs of the body.
  • New moles or changes in appearance of existing moles are common symptoms of skin cancer.
  • Cancer can affect anyone at any age, but those with fair skin, red or blond hair are at increased risk.
  • The National Health Service (NHS) states that melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK.
  • More than a 25% of people diagnosed are under 50, and some 2,000 people die from the cancer each year.
  • If caught early, the disease can be treated with surgery and/or radio and chemotherapy.
  • Wearing strong sun screen (at least SPF15) can help prevent developing skin cancer.
  • Artificial tanning in under sun lamps should be avoided.
  • Moles and freckles should be regularly checked for any changes in appearance.
  • Anyone with concerns about a mole should see their GP.