Body Check – Moles Transcript.
Dr Christian: Moles are generally harmless but they can develop into a deadly form of skin cancer – called a malignant melanoma.
To increase the chances of successful treatment the cancer must be spotted early,
Which is where you come in. Checking your own moles is the most efficient and fast way to spot a problem.
New moles can occur at any time – they form where there’s a concentration of pigment, which can just happen or can result from sun exposure.
Moles naturally come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours and can even be hairy. These in themselves are nothing to worry about. It’s any changes or unusual characteristics that are important. Use the simple ABCD rule to spot these changes.
A stands for Asymmetry. Look to see if the shape of the mole is different from one side to the other.
B is for Border. The edges of the mole shouldn’t be blurred or jagged.
C stands for Colour. Look out for changes or if the mole develops different shades or patchy colouring.
Finally D is for Diameter. Check if the mole increases in size and particularly look out for any mole measuring more than 6 millimeters, which is about the size of the end of a pencil. If any of these changes occur you should make an appointment to see your doctor.Also, if a mole reddens, itches or bleeds you should get it seen as soon as possible.
For this body check and others featured on the site we want to hear about your findings so please come back to share your results and discuss them with other site users.
Examine your moles regularly to check for new ones or changes to the old ones. You should also check in hard to reach places; moles can appear anywhere on the body. Use a mirror or get a friend to help. Taking a well-lit photo is a great way to compare changes over time.
And if you have any concerns do contact your GP.
Body Check: Moles
Moles are generally harmless but they can lead to a deadly form of skin cancer called a malignant melanoma. In this video, Dr Christian explains what to look out for when checking your moles.
New moles can develop at any time. Moles generally come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. They are normally nothing to worry about, unless they start to change and develop unusual characteristics. Use the simple A B C D rule to spot these changes.
A – Asymmetry, a mole shouldn’t differ from one side to the other.
B – Border, the edges of the mole shouldn’t be blurred or jagged.
C – Colour, look out for any changes in colour or patchy shades.
D – Diameter, check to see if a mole increases in size or if it is larger than 6mm across.
Also check to see if a mole reddens itches, crusts or bleeds and if you spot any of these changes, make an appointment and see your GP.
We want to hear about your findings, so please click the link below and add your results to our national survey.
From the 13th – 20th May 2009 we conducted a National Health Survey to find out how many people had potentially problematic moles. Below are the detailed results.
Most of you who responded had normal looking moles, but around 10% of you found ones with either asymmetric or irregular borders. These are often benign, but if you are worried, or you spot changes to your moles, get them checked out. A good way to check for changes is to take a photo of your mole at regular intervals. That way you can judge whether the mole is changing, and take the pictures to your doctor if necessary.
Around a fifth of you reported itchy moles. This is definitely something that you should see your GP about, especially if they are painful or start to bleed regularly.
A small number of you also reported moles that had reddened suddenly, which comes under the ‘c’ for change warning sign. This can be a normal pigment change, but it could also be indicative of a mole turning malignant, so should be checked out by a medical professional.
Normal Moles – 56%
Irregular Border – 3%
Uneven Colour – 1%
Assymetric – 9%
Large Diameter – 8%
None – 23%
Comments and Questions
You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.