A new study advises you to count the moles on your right arm for risk of skin cancer, as an increased number may be indicative of a higher likelihood of developing melanoma.
- Researchers studied mole body count on nearly 3,600 twin girls, and 400 skin cancer patients
- Only between 20-40% cases of melanoma occur from pre-existing moles
- The right arm was the best indicator of total body count of moles
- Women with 11 or more moles on their right arm were likely to have 100 or more on their entire body, a strong indicator of skin cancer
Researchers at King’s College London have conducted a study that would pair a specific body part to the risk of developing skin cancer. A high mole count across the entire surface is a strong indicator. It’s an important risk factor, though pre-existing moles are to be blamed on between 20-40% of cases.
However, they researched a way in which the process will become easier and simpler.
They conducted a study on 3,594 twin Caucasian girls, born between 1995 and 2003. The researchers counted the number of moles on their bodies in total, then separated them by 17 specific ‘proxy’ areas. They then performed the same examination on 400 patients, both men and women, who had been diagnosed with melanoma.
The right arm proved to be the best and easiest to reach indicator.
It was found that women with 7 or more moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having 50 or more moles across their entire body. Women with 11 or more moles on their right arm alone were more likely to have 100 or over moles on their bodies, which is a “strong indicator” of developing melanoma.
And, according to a previous study conducted in Australia, having 10 or more moles on the arms presents with a risk 11 times higher of having skin cancer.
The researchers stated that their study could help ease the methods of identifying melanoma early on. It would speed up the process, and help medical professionals perform tests quicker, and much less invasive tests. According to lead author of the study, Simone Ribero, this is the first reserach that has been done on a much larger scale.
It could provide with significant improvements in primary care, by finding the best proxy body part to use as a measuring tool. This will allow patients to be placed under observation much more rapidly by identifying the heightened risk.
Additionally, the study found that the area above the right elbow is particularly indicative of the total body count of moles. Other parts were also highly predictive, such as the legs for women, and the back for males. Both highlighted an increased risk.
Other risk factors associated with the potential developing of skin cancer include past sunburns, red or fair hair, light eyes, and fair skin. Doctors encourage people to pay a visit once they notice a new mole appearing on their skin, or one of them changing shape or color. However, it should also be noted that some moles naturally appear, especially as a young adult, and there is no need to instantly panic.
Image source: stuff.co.nz