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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do you know if a mole is a risk of being cancerous?

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  • 3


    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    If you ever have any concerns about skin cancers please ask your doctor - it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to skin cancer. If you have a mole that has not changed for many years it is very unlikely to be a risk. Changes in a mole that should prompt you to seek medical care include

    • change in size, especially if this is rapid
    • an irregular border
    • new asymmetry
    • crusting or bleeding
    • pain or itching
    • concern
    If there is doubt about whether your mole is cancerous or not then a biopsy (either complete or partial removal of your mole) will generally be recommended.

  • 2


    Prof Rodney Sinclair

    Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)

    Professor Sinclair is a Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Sinclair Dermatology. He is past-president of the Australasian Society for … View Profile

    My advice is that if you are worried about a particular mole, even if you cannot articulate what it is that bothers you about it, get it checked by your General Practitioner. 

    Rod Sinclair
    Professor of Dermatology
    Epworth Hospital

  • 2


    Dr Roger Woods

    Plastic Surgeon

    Dr Woods is an accomplished Plastic Surgeon, caring for children and adults in Adelaide, who have cosmetic concerns or require reconstruction after cancer or injuries. … View Profile

    We all develop moles and other skin spots and lumps throughout our life.

    Most people become worried about moles when they become irritated or change.  While these are good reasons to have a mole checked, all white-skinned people living in Australia are at high risk of developing a cancerous mole (melanoma) or other skin cancer.  

    If you are an adult, and haven't had your skin checked recently (in the last 2 years), you should arrange an appointment with your GP to discuss this and make sure your moles are okay.

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