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At the very least, you should be extremely interested in them. Whether or not you should be worried depends on your age. Melanoma can occur at ANY age but a new mole is more likely to be a melanoma if you are older than 40 years. Change in a mole or a new mole CAN be an indication of melanoma, even in younger patients and it would therefore be worth getting these new moles checked.
A melanoma can appear on any part of the skin including the sole of a foot.
The highest risks for skin cancer are having had a previous skin cancer, being over the age of 50, having a fair skin type that easily burns, having family members with skin cancer and working outdoors. QIMR have developed a risk calculator which you can use at https://publications.qimrberghofer.edu.au/Custom/QSkinMelanomaRisk/Index
It is never too late to better protect your skin from further damage.
Most skin cancers are silent and need to be seen to be identified. Sometimes itch or pain can be the only clue to a skin so it is still important to have these spots checked.
Skin cancers grow at different rates depending on a lot of different things. Fortunately most skin cancers are slow enough to grow that there is time to recognise and remove them before they have become dangerous.
Skin cancer can kill you. Most skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma however squamous cell carcinoma also kills a significant number of Australians each year. In addition to these, there are some rarer skin cancers that can also cause death.
The best way to remove a skin cancer depends on its type, location, size and the person's suitability for different types of treatments. Most often the best way to remove a skin cancer is to cut it out but in some situations it is ok to freeze, scrape or apply a cream.
Change is one of the best indicators that a mole might be dangerous. Any skin lesion that undergoes obvious colour change should be seen by a competent skin cancer doctor, regardless of the age of the patient.
Any skin blemish could potentially be a skin cancer. They can be raised or flat, small or large and of ANY colour or location on the body. For this reason, a good quality skin check requires careful examination of the skin by a doctor with a lot of expertise in the field.
It is normal for children to get new moles and generally they will look like similar to their other moles. Moles that develop in childhood can grow slowly over years but if you are at all concerned then it is best to have the mole checked.
It is very difficult for someone to ascertain whether their own mole is cancerous or not. This is because skin cancer, including melanoma, can take on almost any conceivable appearance. For this reason, moles are best checked by experienced skin cancer doctors.
Yes. Pregnancy can be a good time to get a skin check as melanoma is more likely to occur during pregnancy than when the woman is not pregnant. Furthermore, hormonal changes during pregnancy can induce moles to change or grow and any such change in an adult, pregnant or not, indicates that a skin check is required.
Yes, skin cancer can be colourless. Approximately 8% of melanomas have no colour.
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