How to Spot a Cancerous Mole

As seen in Woman & Home

Popular women’s magazine Woman & Home provided its readers with expert advice from Dr Ross Perry on how to spot a cancerous mole.

Dr Ross Perry is Founder and Medical Director of the London Mole Removal Centre. He works in the NHS as a GP and skin cancer reconstruction expert as well as providing mole checks and mole removal at Cosmedics’ London Mole Removal Centres.

He told the publication that moles occur when cells grow in a cluster instead of spread throughout the skin:

“These are called melanocytes and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural colour.”

So why do some people have more moles than others?

“Our genetic make-up has a lot to do with the number of moles we have. Plus high amounts of sun exposure means we’re likely to develop more.”

The majority of moles are quite harmless, but Dr Perry warns:

“In theory, all moles have the potential to change into a skin cancer.”

However, most melanoma cases relate to new moles and are usually attributable to overexposure to the sun’s harmful UVA rays.

It is therefore important to be vigilant for any changing or new moles.

cancerous mole woman and home

Mole Checking ABCDE

The Woman & Home feature summarises the potential characteristics of an ‘abnormal’ mole. It could be one or more of the following:

  • Asymmetry: distorted or uneven shape
  • Border: irregular or jagged edge.
  • Colour: patchy or unusual colouration
  • Diameter: unusually large – over 6mm across
  • Evolving: changes in size, shape or colour – or behaviour e.g. discharge, itchy, bleeding

Dr Ross Perry always advises patients to be alert to the the ‘ugly duckling’ sign – the ‘odd one out’ that makes a mole different to the others.

In case of concern, the first step is to visit the GP to assess the mole and either rule out skin cancer or arrange a referral as appropriate.


dr-ross-perryDr Ross Perry

Dr Perry is renowned as an expert in removal of skin lesions. He has removed thousands of moles in his role as Medical Director and founder of Cosmedics Skin Clinics including the London mole Removal Centre.

His career includes working in the NHS both in skin cancer reconstruction and as a GP, so he is experienced and expert in diagnosing skin lesions and providing the best possible advice/treatment.

Can I get rid of unwanted moles?

Any mole deemed risky is normally removed very quickly on the NHS and will then be tested to understand whether it was cancerous so that the need for further treatment may be assessed.

However, many moles are deemed to be ‘cosmetic’ in nature and when this is the case, free NHS treatment is now severely reduced.

Clients can choose to have moles removed privately at clinics such as the London Mole Removal centre, who specialise in mole removal and also arrange full histology (testing) as a precautionary measure.

Private Mole Checks & Removal

The London Mole Removal Centre is a private company, offering diagnosis and treatment for skin lesions including moles, cysts, skin tags, warts, verruca, lipoma, xanthelasma, milia. All consultations and treatments are carried out in person by doctors who are specially trained in the latest laser and skin surgery techniques and are highly experienced in the field. Patients benefit from:

  • No waiting lists
  • Fully trained doctors, registered with GMC
  • Blemishes can usually be removed in the same appointment as the consultation, saving the need for a repeat visit and allowing patients to get very quick treatment
  • Choice of 4 clinics in London plus one in Bristol
  • Testing with report provided where necessary

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7731 3791.