Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moles and melanoma what is the link?

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 2, 2016 – Most patients with melanoma have few moles a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows.

In a Harvard School of Public Health study of 566 patients with melanoma Alan Geller and coauthors looked at the association between age, total moles and abnormal moles to see if there was a correlation between
total moles or atypical moles and tumor thickness, which is a measure of how deep a tumor extends into the skin layers and is used in staging melanoma.

They found that among the 566 patients with melanoma, 376 (66.4 percent) had no moles or less than 20 moles, and 415 (73.3 percent) had no atypical moles.

When they looked at age, patients younger than 60 who had more than 50 moles had a lower risk of thick melanoma, but if they had more than 5 atypical moles compared with those with no atypical moles, they had a higher risk of having thicker melanoma.

"Several public health messages emerge from our study, including that melanomas are more commonly diagnosed in individuals with fewer nevi (moles) compared with those with a high mole count. Therefore, physicians and patients should not rely on the total nevus count as a sole reason to perform skin examinations or to determine a patient's at-risk status," the study concludes.

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