Moles on arm linked to skin cancer risk
People with 10 or more moles on their right arm are most likely to develop skin cancer, according to a team of researchers in London.
Although many moles aren't problematic they can become cancerous, with those who have over 100 on their body 10 times as likely to develop malignant melanoma. A team at St Thomas’ Hospital in London investigated the amount of moles on 3,500 women to draw the conclusion, with the hope that it will help more skin cancers be caught early.
The research saw nurses look at 17 areas of the body in the hope of uncovering whether having a lot of the markings in one place meant someone was especially moley. It was discovered that those who were particularly covered on their right arm tended to have more of the dark patches over their whole body. Men were investigated in a second study and it was determined that if both sexes had over 10 moles in that area, they were likely to have 100 or more on their whole body. Legs also proved important for women, while there was a link between men's backs and overall mole count. In the end the team decided the arm was the best indicator because it's an easy place for doctors to check. In fact either arm works well, but the team want to send out a clear message, so felt focusing on the right would catch people's attention.
The research has been published in the British Journal of Dermatology, with the hope it will encourage people to check their skin more regularly. Any moles which change shape or colour could be a cause for concern, so if you notice alterations you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Dr Claire Knight of charity Cancer Research UK has welcomed the research, although she pointed out that there are other factors which are important when considering skin cancer. "Other risk factors for melanoma include having red or fair hair, fair skin, light-coloured eyes or having been sunburnt in the past," she explained to MailOnline.