Danger Moles

BRITAIN'S record-breaking summer has seen hordes of concerned sun-lovers seeking advice over moles on their skin, according to Boots.

By TTM on 25 August 2006 in Travel Articles

Pharmacists at Boots stores across the country have seen a significant rise in people asking about their moles due to the associated risk of skin cancer.

Mike Brown, Boots Suncare Scientific Adviser, said: "The recent heatwave has meant that many more people have been burnt whilst on holiday in the UK.

"As the risks of skin cancer have become more apparent, we have seen a significant increase in the number  of people coming into our stores and asking about moles on their body and the risk of skin cancer.

"Many people have some moles or dark patches on your skin that are flat or slightly raised. Usually these will remain harmless.

"But moles or patches of normal skin that change in size, shape or colour over weeks or months should be always be shown to your doctor, just to be on the safe side."

"But moles or patches of normal skin that change in size, shape or colour over weeks or months should be shown to your doctor, who can dismiss any worries about them being a warning sign for skin cancer."

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and the number of people who get it is increasing. Most skin cancers are caused by damage from UV (ultraviolet) rays in sunlight, but these cancers could be prevented if we protect ourselves from the sun.

There are over 70,000 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the UK Many cases are not reported so the real number of cases is probably much higher The number of cases has more than doubled since the early 80s. Over 2,000 people die from skin cancer each year in the UK In fact, there are more skin cancer deaths in the UK than in Australia, even though Australia has more cases of the disease.

Experts say you should use the ABCD rule to help you remember the main warning signs:

Asymmetry
The two halves of your mole do not look the same.

Border
The edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged.

Colour
The colour of your mole is uneven, with more than one shade.

Diameter
Your mole is wider than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser).

Other signs of skin cancer are: a new growth or sore that won't heal; a spot, mole or sore that itches or hurts; a mole or growth that bleeds, crusts or scabs.

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