Could you estimate your melanoma risk by looking at your arm?

If you’ve ever been told to worry about spotting new moles, it’s for a good reason. In a new study of 3694 female twins, scientists may have found convincing evidence to suggest that cause for concern about many moles in one area is necessary.

In their research, they evaluated the body site most predictive of a total body mole count. Their results showed that women with 11 or more moles on their right arm were nine times more likely to have more than a total of 100 moles.

That’s a big number.

This method is usually used to estimate your total mole body count and in this study, to estimate one’s risk for melanoma. The more moles on one arm, the higher they assumed their study participants’ risk for melanoma was.

While this study was interesting and took a different approach to evaluating melanoma risk, I personally don’t know if it’s true as I have not previously made this connection with my patients.

However, there’s no harm in trying this method out. Early diagnosis of melanoma is essential to survival, and so it’s even more important to appropriately screen and manage individuals at increased risk, so simple and rapid screening tools such as this method could continue to gain value and lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of care - we’ll have to wait and see.

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