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MOLE CHECKING & REMOVAL

Approximately 1 in 10 of us in the UK, will be diagnosed with skin cancer in our lifetime. In particular, the incidence of Malignant Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer is increasing faster than any other cancer, with rates having more than quadrupled in the last thirty years. This is due largely to increasing affluence and access to holidays abroad as well as the increasing trend for sun-bed use. 1 in 3 Malignant Melanomas are in the under 50s and it is now the second commonest cancer in young adults aged 15 to 34.

Research indicates most non-specialists and GPs are not trained to diagnose skin cancer. 1 in 3 patients with melanoma are initially misdiagnosed by their GP which is unfortunate however not altogether surprising as most will see only about 5 in their practicing career. However, this can lead to late diagnosis and treatment which in turn can lead to a poorer prognosis, whereas diagnosed early, they can be easily treated. Melanomas often arise in preexisting moles and there are certain changes within a mole which should give rise for concern. Any mole which gets bigger or gets darker or becomes more irregular at the edges or bleeds without trauma, should raise concerns and you should have the mole looked at as a matter of urgency.

David Mowatt would be happy to examine any moles which you might be concerned about and reassure or advise regarding the need to have a mole(s) tested with biopsy.

If biopsy is recommended, this can be carried out simply, using local anaesthetic. Every expertise will be used to remove a mole in such a way as to align any scar to render it as inconspicuous as possible. Once removed, your mole(s) will be sent for microscopic examination by a consultant pathologist. The result usually take between 2-5 days and in the event that your mole is found to be cancerous, the implications and further treatment (if any) recommendations will be thoroughly discussed.

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