Melanoma is now one of the biggest cancer killers in 15 – 34 year old’s in the UK and yet it is the most treatable of all cancers. So why are we still ignoring the signs? With the holiday season about to start, here’s some advice on how to spot a suspicious looking mole and take action.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from the pigment cells called Melanocytes and commonly occurs on the face, arms and torso, however it can also be found on the inside of the mouth, eyes and under the nails, but very rarely.
Did you know that Bob Marley died of Melanoma that was first detected under his big toe nail? Although he had the diseased tissue removed he chose to have no further treatment and by the time he had died, the cancer had spread to his lungs and brain.
By following the simple ABCDE rule we can keep an eye on those moles….
A – ASYMMETRY
Is the mole symmetrical? In other words if you were to draw a line through the middle do the two sides match? If not, then it is ASYMMETRICAL
B – BORDER
Melanoma moles will have uneven borders and the edges maybe scalloped or notched
C – COLOUR
Benign moles are all one colour. A mole that has a variety of colours is a warning signal especially if it becomes a shade of red, white or blue.
D – DIAMETER
Normal moles usually have a smaller diameter. Malignant moles are usually larger and will visibly ‘grow’ and change
E – EVOLVING
Common moles will retain their size and shape and will very rarely change. When you spot a mole that is physically changing in colour, size or shape, or starts bleeding or itching then get it checked IMMEDIATELY.
As a skin therapist, part of my job is to look out for changes in peoples skin, and whilst I’m not able to diagnose I can ask you to get your moles checked if I see anything suspicious.