Unbelievably simple test can gauge your cancer risk

Our generation grew up in the sun. Having a nice tan was something to be admired and we all sun-baked to achieve it. It was only in the 1970s that “Slip, Slop, Slap” came in. Sadly, as we age, our skin is paying the price and skin cancer is rife.

The good news is that there is a new way to help determine your risk of skin cancer: counting the moles on your arm.

A new study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, found having more than 11 moles on one arm indicates a higher-than-average risk of skin cancer or melanoma,

According to BBC News, the study found counting moles on the right arm was a good indicator of total moles on the body. If you have more than 100, you have five times the normal risk.

The lead author of the King’s College study, Simone Ribero, said the findings could allow GPs to more accurately estimate the total number of moles in a patient extremely quickly via an easily accessible body part.

The risk of being diagnosed with a melanoma is linked to the number of moles a patient has because melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from abnormal moles. 

But doctors warn that the test should not make us complacent. This is because the number of moles on your body is only an indicator of your risk because fewer than half of melanomas develop from existing moles.

“It’s important to know what’s normal for your skin and to tell your doctor about any change in the size, shape, colour or feel of a mole or a normal patch of skin,” Dr Claire Knight of Cancer Research UK said.

“And don’t just look at your arms – melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, and is most common on the trunk in men and the legs in women.”

Do you have moles on your skin? Will you start paying closer attention to them and the number in view of the findings of this new study?

Ad. Article continues below.