American Academy of Dermatology 2015 Summer Academy Meeting
A new study has shown that those who have fewer moles on their skin might actually be considered a higher risk for aggressive melanoma than those who have more moles.
The Boston-based study is based on reviewing patient charts for people with a diagnosed melanoma. Of the 281 charts reviewed, 89 had 50 or more moles while 192 had less than 50.
Patients with fewer moles tended to have thicker, more aggressive melanoma than those who had more moles.
Study author Dr. Caroline C. Kim said:
“It’s important to educate yourself about skin cancer, no matter how many moles you have,”
“All skin cancers, including melanoma, are most treatable when they’re detected early, so it’s important to be aware of warning signs on your skin.”
The study does not explain why those with fewer moles seem to have worse melanoma. One possible explanation is that a higher number of moles could lead to greater awareness and therefore earlier diagnosis. Another theory is that there differences in people’s immune systems which affect the number of moles and types of melanoma. Dr Kim says that there may be genetic differences in patients with different numbers of moles.
Dr Kim commented
“It is likely that the difference lies in different genetic mutations, which imply that different melanomas may have different aggressive potentials”
Cosmedics Skin Clinics’ team of mole removal doctors advocate regular self-checks for any worrying signs. This is recommended regardless of how many moles you have, age, skin tone or any other factor.
Dr Ross Perry advises looking for the ‘ugly duckling’ syndrome – a skin lesion or blemish that simply looks wrong or different from the others. The ABCDE rule is a handy reference guide for mole checking.
Cosmedics routinely send all moles away for testing, even if there is no concern.
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