We all have moles, yet not all of us check them for changes.
This is concerning, as malignant melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among people under 50. It also happens to be the fifth most common cancer in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.
To raise awareness, AXA PPP has created a helpful animation using the ‘ABCDE’ rule which shows the key signs that could indicate a serious problem. These are:
A – asymmetry, also known as an irregular-shaped mole.
B – borders, such as ragged edges.
C – colour change or a mole that is a different colour in one part than in another.
D – diameter, which refers to any increase in size, but particularly more than about 6mm across.
E – elevation, where the mole is raised from the surface, especially if it is irregularly raised.
Melanoma kills 2,000 people every year in the UK. Risk can be increased by UV rays from the sun or sun beds. Additionally, the more moles a person has on their body, the higher the risk of melanoma.
“Moles are clusters of cells that produce a pigment in your skin and it’s normal to have them, but always keep an eye out for any change to the appearance of an existing mole and monitor your skin regularly to see if any more develop,” says AXA.
“If you do notice any changes, or if any moles itch or become red, we recommend seeing your GP straightaway.”
While melanoma isn’t always preventable, avoiding getting sunburnt can reduce your risk. Protect your skin by using sun cream and dressing sensibly while out in the sun.
The NHS advises steering clear of sun beds and sunlamps completely.