spreading melanoma

NHS Melanoma Referral Statistics

Patients concerned about worrying or changing moles are advised to see their GP in the first instance, but statistics show many melanoma are NOT diagnosed via the urgent referral system.

The expectation is that the GP will refer any suspicious moles for diagnosis and treatment as necessary and there is a ‘fast-track’ 2-week referral system for suspected cancer. However, statistics have revealed that nearly a third of melanoma patients are NOT being referred via the ‘fast-track’ 2-week referral system but taking longer to be seen.

Data from the National Cancer Intelligence Network shows when, where and how diagnosis of melanoma took place in 2013:

  • 56% of malignant melanomas were diagnosed following a two-week referral
  • 29% were only diagnosed following a normal referral to a specialist (which takes 4-6 weeks in some trusts, according to NICE)
  • 2% of cases were diagnosed in A&E
  • 5% when the person concerned was already a hospital inpatient

NICE guidelines stress that GPs should refer people with suspected malignant melanoma for an appointment to see a specialist within two weeks through the urgent referral system for suspected cancer.

Early treatment gives the best outcomes for skin cancer, removing all trace before it can spread. Anybody concerned about a mole or blemish is advised to see a GP as soon as possible and where there are concerns, an urgent referral should be made.

Private Skin Checks

Patients can also seek private mole checks. Cosmedics Skin Clinics’ doctors offer a top-to-toe mole check which documents all moles and lesions for future comparison.

Private Mole Removal

Cosmedics’ Skin Surgery Laser Clinics offer mole consultations with private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

For more information about moles, see:

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.