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Moles increase melanoma risk fourfold

mole inspection
Photo: Mole Inspection
People with moles are 4.6 times more likely to develop melanomas than those without, researchers say.


Having moles on your skin can quadruple your risk of developing melanomas, Australian and British experts say.

A team of researchers compared the medical records of two groups of people - more than 271,000 for whom moles had been recorded during a hospital visit for any condition, and 10 million for people who did not have moles recorded.

The experts, from the universities of Melbourne and Oxford, found those with moles were about 4.6 times more likely to develop a melanoma, the least common but most serious type of skin cancer.

"Our results show patients with a hospital diagnosis of moles have a high risk of developing melanoma both around the site of the mole and elsewhere on the body," said Professor Rodney Sinclair, professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne and director of dermatology at Epworth HealthCare.

"These people might, therefore, benefit from increased surveillance," he said.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer.

About 2000 Australians die from skin cancer each year.


Copyright  AAP 2014

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