Numbers of moles on arm predicts skin cancer risk

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LONDON: Having more than 11 moles on one arm indicates a higher-than-average risk of skin cancer or melanoma, research suggests.

Counting moles on the right arm was found to be a good indicator of total moles on the body. More than 100 indicates five times the normal risk.

GPs could use the findings to identify those most at risk, it said. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer affecting more than 13,000 people in the UK each year.

It develops from abnormal moles, so the risk of being diagnosed with a melanoma is linked to the number of moles a patient has.

Researchers from King’s College London studied a large group of female twins over a period of eight years, collecting information on skin type, freckles and moles on their bodies. After repeating the exercise on a smaller group of around 400 men and women with melanoma, they came up with a quick and easy way to assess the risk of skin cancer.