Skin Cancer: what you need to know

By Dr. Anne-Marie Cox and Emily Grenfell


This summer a lot of people have been using Ask (our text advice service) to send photographs of patches on their skin. Skin cancer is very dangerous as cancerous cells can spread quickly from the skin to the rest of your body. The good news is that it can be caught early if you know what you're looking for. 

Most skin cancers are identifiable by keeping a close eye on your moles.
If you have noticed any change in a mole or patch of skin, take a photograph and send it via Ask. Our GPs will respond quickly with advice about what you will need to do next.



A - Asymmetry

If one half of a mole or birthmark doesn't match the other.



B - Border irregularity

The borders are ragged, notched, or blurred.



C - Colour variation

The colour is not the same all over, has differing shades of brown, black, red, white, or blue.


D - Diameter

The area is larger than 6mm (about the width of a pencil) or growing larger.


E - Evolution

Changes in size, shape, colour, or if it begins itching, bleeding, or crusting. Another warning sign is if a previously flat mole becomes raised.


"When checking your body, make sure you check your scalp by parting your hair, and check the places where the sun doesn’t reach, it's better to be thorough. 

As with all cancers the earlier skin cancer is detected, the better your chances of recovery. If you have any doubts, send a photograph through Ask and we will get back to you."