For the untrained eye, it's not easy distinguishing between harmless (also known as benign) moles and those which need further attention.
By regularly checking and getting to know your skin, you may notice moles that are changing and identify new moles. In a study involving 3,500 Queenslanders with melanoma, the study found that almost half were detected by patients themselves and around one fifth were found by partners.
In recent decades, the incidence of skin cancer has increased in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries around the world.
Despite skin cancer being described as Australia's "national cancer" (2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70 years old), it is also described as being "the most preventable". It is never too late to start protecting your skin as skin damage is cumulative.
If you spend time outdoors, medical experts recommend UPF50+ sun protective clothing as the first line of defence against the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Solbari believes in prevention being the best cure, getting to know your skin and getting regular skin checks.
Do you know what to look out for when you check your skin?
The features of melanoma to look out for are often referred to as the ABCD rule:
Half of the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or colour.
The edges of moles are irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
The mole is not the same colour throughout.
The mole is usually greater than 6 millimetres when diagnosed, but may also be smaller.
The ABCD rule has been used by Doctors for more than 25 years to identify suspicious moles. But with the increasing diagnosis of nodular melanomas (about 20% of all cases of melanoma) and smaller melanomas which do not subscribe to the ABCD rule, the EFG rule has been added.
Evolution and Elevation
A mole or skin lesion that is different from the rest, or changes in size, shape, or colour.
Benign moles are quite soft to touch, whereas melanoma lesions can be solid.
Benign moles often remain relatively the same size, whereas melanoma lesions can often grow rapidly.
If you are concerned about moles with any of the features described above, consult your skin doctor or dermatologist.