Sun damage can result in skin cancer. A NHS Choices interactive test advises whether you should seek help from your doctor / Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

The test takes into account changes in moles as well as family history of skin cancer

An interactive test could help flag up whether you should seek advice from a health professional for one of the most common types of cancer.

Skin cancer affects thousands of people in the UK each year. Now, a test available on the NHS Choices website will reveal whether you are at risk from the disease and recommend if you should seek help.

The mole self-assessment factors in elements such as complexion, the number of times you have been severely sunburnt and whether skin cancer runs in your family.

It also quizzes you on the number of moles you have and whether there have been any changes in appearance regarding size, shape and colour.

The test also takes into account sun bed use.










A set of possible results from the Mole self-assessment

Take the Mole self-assessment here.

Recent research has shown that the number of skin cases are on the rise.

Last year, research from the British Association of Dermatologists found that the number of hospital admissions for skin cancer treatment in England increased by 41 per cent in just five years.

“As holidays to sunny locations become cheaper and tanned skin remains a desirable fashion statement, we have seen an inevitable increase in skin cancer incidence rates and the associated health and financial burden they place on the nation,” said Johnathon Major, of the British Association of Dermatologists.

“Skin cancers are largely preventable and more must be done to communicate to the public the serious risks associated with unmediated sun exposure if we are to see a decline in these figures," said Major.


Skin cancer falls into two categories. Non-melanoma types are more common and there are around 100,000 new cases each year in the UK, according to NHS Choices.

Far less common but with the ability to spread faster in the body are melanoma skin cancers, which kill more than 2,000 people each year in the UK. There are around 13,000 new cases every year but more than 80 per cent of the cases are preventable.

The rate of malignant melanoma has increased rapidly since 1975 when there were around three cases per 100,000 people in Great Britain to almost 18 cases per 100,000 in 2011, according to Cancer Research UK.