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Moles on arm can reveal melanoma risk

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Washington D.C., Oct. 20 : Researchers have now found a new method that could be used by GPs to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm.

Scientists at King’s College London have found that naevus (mole) count is one of the most important markers of risk for skin cancer despite only 20 to 40 per cent of melanoma arising from pre-existing moles.

The risk is thought to increase by two to four per cent per additional mole on the body, but counting the total number on the entire body can be time consuming in a primary care setting.

The researchers have used data from 3594 female Caucasian twins between January 1995 and December 2003 for their study.

Scientists found that the count of moles on the right arm was most predictive of the total number on the whole body. Females with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having more than 50 on the whole body and those with more than 11 on their right arm were more likely to have over 100 on their body in total, meaning they were at a higher risk of developing a melanoma.

The research is published in the British Journal of Dermatalogy. (ANI)