It's a good idea to keep an eye on your moles to see if any of them are changing, which can be a sign of skin cancer, experts agree. But a new study finds that the sometimes-deadly skin cancer melanoma usually arises in normal skin, where there is no dark spot or sign of cancer until the melanoma suddenly shows up. Moreover, melanomas that arise in non-mole areas of the skin tend to be more aggressive and deadly than those that do arise from moles, the study found.
In the new study, the scientists looked at 2,250 people with melanoma. They noted the type of melanoma each person had (whether it was mole-related or non-mole-related), and examined factors such as the person's age, the location of the melanoma on the body, tumor thickness, stage of the disease, and survival rate. (Not all marks on the skin are moles. The naked eye cannot always spot the differences among a regular mole, a mole that has developed into melanoma, and another mark on the skin that is a melanoma, but experts who look at the cells under a microscope can tell the difference.) People whose melanomas did not arise from moles (called de novo melanomas) tended to do worse than people with mole-associated melanoma, the researchers said in their findings, presented June 1 at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.