When it comes to indicating melanoma risk, the eyes have it.
University of Queensland researchers have found that freckles and moles appearing on the iris were an effective predictor of the risk of melanoma and complemented traditional factors.
Dermatology Research Centre’s Associate Professor Rick Sturm said the presence of three or more iris pigmented lesions was associated with a 45 per cent increased risk of melanoma.
“The presence of iris freckling and naevi (moles), provides additional information about an individual’s melanoma risk over and above factors like blue eyes, red hair, fair skin and the number of moles on the skin.”
The study involved 1117 participants of European background living in south-east Queensland.
Study co-author Dr Antonia Laino said the results showed that participants with pigmented lesions were 1.45 times more likely to develop melanoma and added the fact younger patients are 1.8 times more at risk suggested a genetic susceptibility.
Laino said these lesions should be used as markers for melanoma risk in younger patients.
“Melanoma is the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 39.
“Despite many new advances in treatments, long term prognosis remains poor, therefore early detection is still key in reducing the burden of the disease.
“It’s very easy to look for iris pigmented lesions, and we hope that these findings will help doctors identify those people who may be at increased risk of melanoma and need a skin check,” she said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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