Beware Changes: Dr Stephen Rigby at the Gladstone Central Medical Centre.
Beware Changes: Dr Stephen Rigby at the Gladstone Central Medical Centre. Christopher Chan

Good mole, bad mole? How to spot 'em

IF you've ever worn nail polish while getting your skin checked, you've made a mistake.

Melanomas can grow in places you'd never imagine - such as underneath your nails, on your genitals, on the inside of your mouth or inside your eyeball.

Dr Stephen Rigby from Gladstone Central Medical Centre said most people know basically what to look for when it came to signs of skin cancer.

"People have heard it all before. If you have an existing mole that changes colour, shape or size, you need to see a doctor," he said. "The same applies for new moles that appear."

What Dr Rigby is particularly interested in conveying to the Gladstone public is the less-known facts about melanomas.

"A lot of people think that moles have to be black to be a melanoma. It's not true. They can be black, brown, tan, grey or pink," he said. "You can get a black mole that's benign and pink mole that's highly malignant."

"A lot of these things are misinterpreted."

Dr Rigby stressed that any change at all in a mole could be a warning sign.

"They don't have to always go darker to be suspicious," he said. "They can go from brown to black or black to brown. Both changes are indicative of melanoma."

For more information about melanoma, check out the following link:

Did you know...

40% of melanomas appear in pre-existing moles, whereas 60% will occur where there was no mole before.

Melanomas do not always occur in moles that are raised. They can just as easily occur in flat moles.

Although the chances of melanoma peaks between ages 15-35, children as young as 10 years old have been diagnosed.

For more information about melanoma, check out the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4jgUcxMezM&feature=share



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