Skin cancer and Melanomas occurs when the genetic material inside the cells changes, causing an alteration in how cells behave. They increase in size and number, leading to the development of a tumour. 

There are two main types of skin cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and accounts for almost three per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers each year. 

Melanoma is type of skin cancer which can spread to other areas of the body. It’s important to get checked for skin cancer to prevent the spread to other organs. The most common form of melanoma is found in the appearance of a new mole, or an existing mole changing shape, form or colour. They can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, legs, arms and back area. 

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. 

ABCDE Mole Checklist

+ Asymmetrical: Melanomas that are an irregular shape and have two different halves.
+ Border: Melanomas with a ragged boarder.
+ Colours: Melanomas that have a mix of two or more colours.
+ Diameter: Melanomas that are larger than 6mm (1/4) in diameter.
+ Evolution: A mole which has changed in size or shape over time.

There are over 8,000 new cases of melanoma in men, and nearly 7,000 new cases in women per year in the UK. Melanoma (also known as malignant melanoma) is a cancer that develops from cells called melanocytes, found in the outer layer of our skin. Melanocytes produce melanin, a pigment that helps to protect the deeper layers of our skin from the harmful effects of the sun. This pigment appears as a suntan, which is a sign of damaged skin and a possible skin cancer warning sign. 

Melanomas often start in moles, but they can also develop elsewhere on the skin. In rare cases, melanomas can occur in the eye, under the fingernails or in other parts of the body not usually exposed to the sun. 

Those who have a higher risk of developing melanoma usually have one or more of the following factors: 

+ History of childhood sunburn
+ Freckles and/or moles 
+ Prolonged exposure to UV rays
+ Fair skin
+ Outdoor-related work and hobbies
+ Multiple atypical moles
+ Previous history of skin cancer or melanoma
+ Family history of skin cancer or melanoma or a history of immunosuppression.

At the Cadogan Clinic we offer an advanced mole check treatment run by a team of highly skilled consultant dermatologists, who specialise in mole checks and the treatment of skin cancer. 

In the event a mole does need to be removed, the procedure can be performed quickly and painlessly, using the most effective and efficient mole removal techniques available.

Our expert team also offers the specialist Mohs surgery – the most advanced technique for removing certain skin cancers. 

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