The majority of melanomas arise from new lesions rather than existing moles, according to a review published online Aug. 29 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

While we always emphasis the importance of following the appearance of your existing moles the fact is that most melanomas (70%) do not derive from existing moles “going bad” , but just develop as melanomas from the very start.

You should still follow your moles (30% of melanomas do derive from existing moles), but also know your whole skin so you can recognize any new moles. To this end we highly recommend full body digital photography as a baseline documentation of your moles and skin against which any potentially changing or new moles can be compared.

Researchers conducted a review of 38 previously published medical studies involving 20,126 melanomas.

The findings showed that only 29.1 percent of the skin cancers started in moles patients already had, while 70.9 percent arose as new lesions on the skin.

“In conclusion, in this systematic review and meta-analysis we found that less than one-third of melanomas were nevus-associated.”


Link to abstract: