Mole Check at The Cadogan Clinic is the UK’s most comprehensive for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer; and is the only mole check approved by the British Skin Foundation.
Moles are often harmless, but they can be irritating and catch on clothing and jewellery alike. Occasionally, they can be a sign of cancer. The NHS and NICE guidelines recommend having your moles checked by an expert every six months – at a minimum. If you’ve had a mole removed, it’s every three months.
Below is a helpful checklist you can go through at home, but it’s always recommended to book in with a doctor if you have any changes to your moles or freckles or if you suspect any of them may be cancerous.
The good news is that skin cancers from moles that are found and removed early are almost always curable and early diagnosis matters. A person with a melanoma of less than 0.75mm thick can expect to have a 95% cure rate. 52% of the melanoma we find are discovered by monitoring and identifying the tiniest of changes each time you come in with our mole-mapping service. Changes can be monitored both externally and internally for signs that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
Book in with one of our doctors at the Cadogan Clinic if you’re worried about any of the moles or freckles you have, and you can rest assured that we will be able to give you a comprehensive diagnosis.
There are many ways that you can reduce your risk of skin cancer.
+ Limit your exposure to UV radiation + Use broad-spectrum sunblock when exposed to the sun. Broad spectrum will help protect against both UVA and UVB rays + Use a minimum of SPF 30 in your sunblock, ensure the UVA protection is adequate as denoted by UVA and apply thickly and frequently + Avoid the use of sunbeds (Using sunbeds for the first time below the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma by nearly 60% + Perform a monthly skin self-examination looking for ABCDE of moles
ABCDE Checklist for suspicious features:
+ Asymmetry: Moles that are an irregular shape and have two different halves. + Border: Moles with a ragged border. + Colours: Moles that have a mix of two or more colours. + Diameter: Moles that are larger than 6mm (1/4 inch) diameter. + Evolution: A mole which has changed in size or shape over time.
When performing your monthly skin checks ensure you are doing it after a bath or shower, in a well-lit room, with the aid of a full-length mirror looking for any changes in moles thoroughly.
You can also self-assess yourself for risk of melanoma. The Melanoma Risk Factor Assessment checklist can tell you if you would benefit from a mole check by a dermatologist, or from more regular self-examinations.
The Melanoma Risk Factor Assessment:
+ Have you ever been sunburnt badly? + Does your skin burn first and then tan? Do you tan at all? + Do you have any outdoor hobbies? + Have you ever used sunbeds? + Have you ever lived anywhere abroad that was very hot/sunny? + Have you ever had a job where you worked outdoors? + Has anyone in your family ever had melanoma? + Do you wear sunblock when exposed to the sun?
If you notice any changes to a mole or a patch of skin, it is important to seek the advice of your GP or a dermatologist as soon as possible. If your regular GP has any concerns about the changes in your moles, they will refer you to a consultant dermatologist for further examination.
A dermatologist will perform a full skin examination to check all of your moles. If the dermatologist has any concerns about any unusual moles or patches of skin, they will either go on to remove (excise) the mole or take a sample of a suspicious patch of skin (biopsy) to send in for analysis.
It is important to note that not all changes to moles are the results of skin cancer. It is normal for moles to change in size, number or appearance over time, even some disappearing entirely. Hormonal changes, like those that occur with puberty or pregnancy, can also cause moles to increase in number or to become darker.
Mole mapping and Dermoscopy begins with a consultation and full clinical examination by a Consultant Dermatologist. The Dermatologist begins by identifying and marking any suspicious moles and ones which warrant monitoring.
Next, the patient will be taken through the process of having whole body photography and dermoscopy of any moles that the dermatologist has marked. For the photography, the patient will stand on a mat at a fixed distance to allow for reproducible images to be taken by the camera on the mole mapping machine. Close up dermoscopy images are then taken of any moles identified by the dermatologist for monitoring using a hand-held dermoscope, which uses polarised light for accurate imaging.
All dermoscopy images are uploaded to the patients’ medical profile to allow the dermatologist to view the moles in detail. This completes the initial clinical examination.
There will be a follow-up appointment booked by the dermatologist in order to have the dermoscopic images repeated to see if there have been any changes in the moles.
In about 4-6 months’ time, a follow-up appointment will be booked so that the process can be carried out in reverse order, with a repeat dermoscopy of the moles being monitored. During this appointment, the Consultant Dermatologist will review any changes in the moles in the before and after photos.
If there is a need for excision of any moles that have changed to prevent further progression, this will be performed under local anaesthetic and the specimen sent to the laboratory for a full histological diagnosis.
Melanoma is caused when skin cells, or melanocytes, begin to grow abnormally. The single most preventable cause is too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlight and there is also evidence that the use of sunbeds can cause skin cancer.
There are certain people who have a predisposition to skin cancer or are more at risk:
+ People who burn easily in the sun
+ People with past episodes of sunburn, often with blister formation and often in childhood
+ People with many moles (more than 50)
+ People who have first-degree family members who have melanomas
+ People with a weakened immune system due to diseases (e.g. HIV), or those on drugs that suppress the immune system (e.g. organ transplant patients)
Melanomas may develop as either a new mole or occur as changes in a pre-existing mole. It is the fifth most common form of skin cancer in the UK, with approximately 13,000 cases being reported each year.
More than a quarter of those cases are in people under 50 years old, which is quite young in comparison to other cancers. More than 2000 people in the UK die every year from melanoma.
We have some of the best dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the UK, as well as our mole mapping system, rapid diagnostic services and our “see and treat” service for mole removal. You are guaranteed that Cadogan Clinic is the best choice for accurate and quick diagnosis and treatment.
+ Consultant Dermatologist Led: every Mole Check patient is seen by one of our consultant Dermatologists and not a nurse. + Mole Map: each patient leaves with a comprehensive computer controlled Mole Map of their entire body. + Long Term Monitoring: our Mole Mapping technology and our Dermatologist led approach allows us to spot even the subtlest of changes and moles over time. + Dermoscopy: any mole that a Dermatologist is concerned about will be examined on the spot under a high powered dermatology microscope. + Treatment: we have 3 fully staffed operation theatres on site for the rapid, same day removal of worrisome moles. + Plastic Surgeons: for the removal of bigger or deeper moles, or those in more visible places, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon can undertake the procedure to minimise any scarring risk. + Mohs: we are one of the only clinics in the UK to offer Mohs surgery on site. This is recognised by NICE as the optimal approach to skin cancer removal.
Book in with one of our doctors at the Cadogan Clinic if you’re worried about any of the moles or freckles you have, and you can rest assured that we will be able to give you a comprehensive and fast diagnosis.
Any mole that changes need consideration. If it grows, changes colour bleeds, itches. It should be checked by a doctor. Probably it is just traumatised or there is an inflamed hair follicle within it, but of course, for a few, it may be becoming malignant. An expert will examine the mole naked eye and probably with a dermascope (dermatoscope). If there is doubt, then it will be removed with a margin of normal tissue and checked under the microscope. If it turns out to be a melanoma, we often need to come back to remove a bit more tissue in order to have a calculated safe margin.
If moles become malignant, they become melanomas, one of the 3 main types of skin tumour and also the most dangerous. They used to carry a dreadful prognosis, but now at the Cadogan Clinic, we cure nearly all of them, simply because we see them early, identify them and remove them early.
At the Cadogan Clinic, we understand that there are 5 reasons to remove moles –
! -moles that are malignant.
2- moles that might be malignant
3- moles that develop an infection, usually due to a folliculitis (infection of a hair follicle)
3- moles that worry you, so that you must keep coming back for checks.
4- moles that you do not like the look of.
These are all good reasons but check with your insurance company, if you expect reimbursement. They may not consider the reason in their opinion to be medical.
If you have many moles or have had other melanomas or suspicious moles, you may need a general mole check by your dermatologist. You may be recommended to undergo molemapping.If you have one suspicious mole, you are at risk of having others. Then if you just have very many moles they should be checked regularly. It is said that if you have 11 or more moles of the forearm or 100 overall, then you need regular checks.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK but the good news is that if the signs and symptoms are spotted early it will be much easier to treat. If you have moles on your face and body, it’s a good idea to keep a check on them and monitor any changes for your own peace of mind. At Cadogan Cosmetics we have some of the best dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the country as well as our mole mapping system, rapid diagnostic services including 24-hour histology results and our “see and treat” service for mole removal.
Most people have moles which remain perfectly fine throughout their lifetime but if you notice signs that a mole has changed in any way, it is wise to have it checked by a dermatologist or doctor during a mole check to make sure it is not cancerous. This kind of skin cancer includes melanomas, basal cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas. Moles can also be precancerous lesions, changes that are not cancer but could become cancer over time. The good news is that skin cancer can be cured if it’s found and treated early. Contact the Mole Clinic at Cadogan Clinic for more information.
Bleeding moles can occur when they have been irritated or scratched – moles catching on clothing, being cut by a razor, makeup application, scratching an insect bite and hair removal are all very common triggers. However, a more serious concern for a bleeding mole is skin cancer. There are definite signs that a mole could be a melanoma and individuals should seek immediate advice from a dermatologist. If you have a new mole or a change in your moles such as bleeding, changes in shape, size or colour, itchy or painful moles- it's imperative that you seek medical advice at the earliest possible stage.
Consumers should be vigilant in having moles checked annually or as advised by your dermatologist if you have a history of previously abnormal naevi (moles) or skin cancer. An early diagnosis is crucial in managing this potentially life-threatening disease; skin cancer which is detected and removed early is almost always curable. Just the tiniest of change in a mole is a sign to visit your dermatologist for a Mole Check. The Cadogan Clinic offers a revolutionary Mole Package service which includes a mole and lesion check, removal and rapid histology results and advice. With a team of industry-leading consultants using the most cutting-edge techniques at the state-of-the-art facility, Cadogan Clinic's Mole Check is the only service of its kind to be approved by the British Skin Foundation.
The most effective way of monitoring moles at home is by regularly following the ABCDE rule. This is an excellent way of supporting annual mole checks with a medical professional. If you notice any of the signs below you should immediately seek medical advice.
A – Asymmetry Where one half of the mole does not match the other B – Border Check the outline of your mole – a melanoma may have edges that are ragged, notched, blurred or irregular, plus the pigment may have spread into surrounding skin. C - Colour Is the colour uneven? You might see shades of black, brown and tan, or areas of white grey, red, pink or blue D - Diameter – Do you see a change in the size of your mole? Has it increased? Typically, melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter – (same size as the end of a pencil) E – Evolving – Does the mole look different from the others and / or is changing in size, colour or shape?
People often choose to remove moles for purely cosmetic reasons, especially if they are moles on the face which can make them feel self-conscious. Our doctors at Cadogan Clinic include highly-experienced Plastic and Cosmetic surgeons who will remove moles whilst leaving minimal scarring on your face.
Moles are common skin growths which can be flat and pigmented or protruding. They affect the appearance and people often prefer to remove them on cosmetic grounds.
In some cases, the moles can start changing in colour, shape, and size. This might be a warning sign of cancer and you should see a dermatologist immediately.
Facial moles are removed surgically after an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area. The tissue removed is sent for pathological examination and the small skin defect is stitched up carefully. The stitches are removed after 5-7 days and the resulting line scar gradually fades with time.
To enquire about a consultation with a Mole Check specialist, please complete the form below.
Handwashing is imperative for health and one of the most important things we can to reduce the risk of picking up and spreading germs to others. In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, handwashing is the number one thing you can do to safeguard against infecting yourself and spreading this highly contagious virus.