Seeing your General Practitioner (GP)28

See your doctor if you develop a new mole or notice a change in an existing mole or area of your skin (including under your nail). Even if you’re worried about what this might be, you shouldn’t delay seeing them. It might not be cancer. But if it is, the earlier a cancer is picked up, the more likely it can be treated successfully.

During your appointment, your GP will look at your mole or abnormal area of skin. They may measure it with a ruler or against a scale, take a photo so they can record any changes, or examine it closely with a dermatoscope (like a magnifying glass).

Depending on the results, your doctor might reassure you, or refer you to a surgeon or skin specialist (dermatologist).


Referral and seeing a specialist 29

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist within 2 weeks if you have skin changes that could be due to melanoma.

Your appointment will probably be at a skin clinic or at a pigmented lesion clinic (a special clinic for diagnosing melanomas early). The specialist will examine your mole and ask you questions about how long you’ve had it and any changes you’ve noticed. They usually also examine the rest of your skin to see if you have any other unusual moles.

Your specialist can find out a lot from looking at your mole. Knowing whether the mole has changed over time and how it has changed is also important

They may also take pictures (with your permission) of other moles that you have, so they can check whether they change over time.

Click HERE for a full list of REFERENCES numbers listed throughout the site (nos.1-58)