Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Moles: Cause or Indicator of health problems

I just hit upon the notion that moles on your skin could have the potential of predicting your cancer risk and voila!! no sooner did I google this did I get a hit. Now that's not to say this is any form of proof I just thought it was worth a shot.

Why? well the basic cancerous cell is simply one that won't die. One that's dangerous is one that keeps dividing. So a mole, particularly one that's raised represents a cell that's probably not doing what it's supposed to do and is also dividing or has been dividing at a certain point.

Link to that a common thread that cancers are being linked to diseases and viruses and it makes me wonder if a persons cancer risk is simply related to their genes, their lifestyle and their environment as much as these affect their ability to resist disease and infection.

It then becomes a logical link to consider that moles may represent a state where skin diseases could gain a hold in some cells and change the function of the cell to become cancerous. The ability of the body to fight disease could be reflected in a lack of moles.

I wouldn't use this as any guide at the moment because we're just judging the inside of the body by assessing its outer layer. Hardly thorough. It is a start though in looking for ways in whcih you could assess your cancer risk. I'll keep an eye out for more research on this.

What's also intriguing is contrasting the finding above with one that indicated 'moles can reflect how well you age'. How could we explain this. Well the article explains part of the idea.

I'd like to propose a different idea though. What if moles simply act as a reflection of the state of your body and your lifestyle. Maybe the moles reflect that you're living a busy life. I'd expect it to be in balance so you're not working too hard or too little but I'd expect that you're looking after your body. Getting out of doors into the sunshine. Staying up late sometimes cos you're out with friends. all the things you did when you were young and youthful. Sure you had less moles then but maybe you've just had long enough for them to build up.

I'm not sure this theory holds together. I just like to look at things in a different way. Rather than seeing moles as a good or bad thing. Just seeing them as an indicator of wider things in your life. Things like if you don't exercise and put a little stress into your body it'll often wither and stop maintaining itself so well. the thing is in the process you may get out in the sun and get burned a few times. You may even just be used to pushing yourself so your body never gets round to fixing the moles. But it is strong enough to carry on regardless


edit: 20090721
Not long after publishing this I've found more info. Moles And Melanoma: Genetic Links To Skin Cancer Found. Seems like it wasn't just a shot in the dark.

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I've just started listening to This week in virology (TWIV) and been reminded that the human wart virus, more commonly known as human papilloma virus is the cause of a large number of cancers. This is part of the reason why I considered that moles could be related too. 
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