Simple Melanoma Risk Test: Count the Moles on an Arm
Written by Editor   
Saturday, December 12, 2015 12:00 AM

An individual's risk for melanoma can be quickly and simply assessed in primary care by counting the number of nevi on one arm, suggests a group of Italian and United Kingdom researchers.

Using data derived from a study of more than 3500 female twins, they found that total body nevus count (TBNC) is significantly predicted by the number of nevi on the arm.

"It's important because the number of moles on the body is strictly related to the risk of melanoma, and if you have more than 100 moles on your body, the risk increases by some five to six times in the white population,” the lead researcher said.

The researchers demonstrated that a nevus arm count of more than 11 is associated with a significant risk of having more than 100 nevi.

The arm was also the most predictive site for total body nevus counts when the study was replicated in a control population that included both sexes, say Dr Ribero and colleagues.

The team therefore recommends that "this fast clinical evaluation should be used for a quick estimation of melanoma risk in general practices."

The tool is limited but useful.