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Melanoma alert: 11 or more moles means you’re at risk

Don’t take that mole on your body lightly any more. According to a new research, counting the number of moles on your right arm could indicate vulnerability to skin cancer, with 11 or more moles being a “strong predictor” of melanoma.

The study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that the number of moles on the right arm was the closest predictor of the number on the entire body.

The greater the total number of moles on the body, the higher the risk from melanoma, or skin cancer. Scientists at King’s College London said the findings could help doctors more easily identify patients at risk, by using the arm as a “proxy” area.

Researchers studied 3,594 female Caucasian twins, using data collected over an eight-year period, with each person undergoing a mole count on 17 body areas.

The exercise was then repeated on a group of around 400 men and women with melanoma. Women with more than 11 moles on their right arm were more likely to have over 100 on their body in total, which was a “strong predictor” of melanoma, researchers said.

A previous study conducted in Australia suggested that 10 moles on the arms represents an 11-fold increase in the risk of melanoma.

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