As the scientific community tries to target cancer and ways to fight it, they are also trying to find ways to detect it earlier. Earlier detection allows for earlier treatment and that leads to better outcomes for the patients battling cancer. This article will give some insight on skin cancer and research being conducted to assess risks. It will also provide a link to additional information on the recent studies being conducted. This study provides a lot of hope for finding skin cancer and stopping it in it’s tracks. Something we all hope to see in our life time.
What Do These Studies Mean?
The British studies conducted to try to predict risk factors for skin cancer zero’d in on the number of moles that a person has on their body. One thing that seems clear is that people who have a greater number of moles on their bodies overall, also have a greater risk of getting skin cancer. Many physicians don’t perform a count during routine exams unless there is a concern. This leads to later detection.
In the study they tried to isolate parts of the body to count moles and draw conclusions on what that might mean for the rest of the body. The study suggested that the body part that gave the best clue was the right arm. They were able to estimate the number of overall moles on the body based on the number of moles on that particular body part. The researches did recorded the number of moles on 17 different sites and compared them to the body as a whole to see which body part best showed how the body as a whole was. The right arm was seemingly the most accurate indication of what the rest of the body would show in terms of moles.
How Was Study Conducted?
British researchers initially conducted the study using sets of twins (that were female and white.) Then the study was repeated with women and men. Adding in more variables. They found that if you had over 11 moles on your right arm the risk is higher for having skin cancer. People who had over 11 moles on their right arm had over 100 moles on their whole body. This is important because the number of moles is reflective of chances that a person will have skin cancer.
Other interesting points facts that were turned up in the study pointed to where people will most likely find skin cancer. Surprisingly women and men differ in the places that they are most likely to find them. Women will usually find the cancerous mole on their arms or legs, while men will typically find the mole on their back.
The article on Washington Post states that previous studies show a risk increase of 2 to 4 percent per mole.
The study is summed up best with a quote from Ribero from the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology when he says this study “Would mean that more patients at risk of melanoma can be identified and monitored.”
While this research gets us closer, there are things you can do yourself to keep track of your moles. There was a new app released from the Oregon Health & Science University called Mole Mapper that allows track your moles. Important information like size and the ability to take photos to see how the shape may change over time are some of the key features to help users have a more active role in monitoring their moles. If you are unable to go to the dermatologist or primary physician this app is the next best thing in mole tracking.
Please head to this site for additional information on the 11 mole rule and what it means for skin cancer.
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