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Malignant Melanoma

An image to represent malignant melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer but fortunately also the least common. It is still on the increase in this country and has been linked to burning in childhood and adolescence.

It is very important that it is diagnosed early to reduce the risk of metastases (spread to other parts of the body). As a general rule we recommend that the following should alert you to visit your doctor:

  • Asymmetry

  • Irregular borders

  • More than two colours within a mole

  • Diameter greater than 9 mm

  • Change, including size or colour or if it is non-healing​

Dermatologists also talk about the “ugly duckling sign” meaning if one of your moles looks very different to your other moles, it could be a sign that it is a skin cancer. This is one reason why it is important that all your moles are examined.

Risk factors for skin cancer include

  • Fair skin

  • Family or past history

  • Excess sun exposure/sun bed use

  • Immunosupression

If you develop a new or changing mole, don’t wait. Get it checked by a dermatologist who will examine all of your skin and look at all your moles. It is better to be safe and you are never wasting our time.

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