Moles Are Not the Only Thing You Should Checking for When It Comes to Skin Cancer

Updated: Jan. 22, 2020

In over 20,000 cases of melanoma, over 70 percent of cases arose from something other than moles.


When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is key. Skin cancer checks can be life-saving, but discovering signs of the disease can be more difficult than simply spotting a mole. Since the causes for the cancer are numerous, your toolkit for combating the disease should be equally extensive.

A new comprehensive study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology examined the sources of skin cancer in 20,000 cases of melanoma pulled from 38 previously published medical studies. Of all the cases, just 29 percent of the melanomas started off as already existing moles.

It turns out the primary thing to watch out for is newly formed lesions on the skin; they were found to be the source of 79 percent of all skin cancer cases in the study. Dr. Riccardo Pampena was the lead researcher of the study and expressed the need for this information to get out, via CBS News.

“Patients and physicians should be aware that skin without moles is more at risk than moles to develop a melanoma….Not only moles, but the whole-body surface should be monitored by patients and physicians.”  

Vigilance is key when it comes to detecting melanoma, 44 percent of all cases are detected by patients themselves according to Women’s Health. Paired with staying informed about the facts about skin cancer, you can avoid becoming a statistic. Make sure you also know what those red moles you may spot are.

[Source: CBS News]