New skin cancer warning: not all suspect moles are dark

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Be warned — you may have more potential skin cancers than you think.

Key points:

  • Cancer Council Australia announced changes to its melanoma diagnosis guidelines for doctors
  • Asked to add the EFG assessment — looking at elevation, firmness and growth
  • About 30 Australians are diagnosed with the skin cancer every day

Until now, public health messages about skin cancer haven’t warned about paler, less obvious lesions.

“Typically, a lot of people assume, wrongly, that melanomas are associated with dark pigmented moles,” said Chris McMillan, the CEO of Cancer Council Queensland.

But research has shown that risks missing a significant number of potential lethal melanomas.

“Realistically, we find that 20 per cent of melanomas are pale-coloured lesions,” Mr McMillan said.

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