Melanoma Awareness, Preventative Tips, Skin Cancer

Cancerous moles - How do they look?

Got a suspicious mole? Here's what to look for.

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 21/04/14
Get regular mole check to help prevent melanoma

It is a common misconception that since the signs of skin cancer are visible, they are recognised early. This is because the moles cancerous growths usually appear as normal benign moles. This is the reason why every person should be able to tell the difference between the two types at least in basic terms.

Moles Cancerous: Appearance 

The reality is that no one is able to tell if a mole is cancerous before a sample of it has been tested in a laboratory. Given this, the average person can only look for growths which look suspicious. Then these growths need to be reported to a general practitioner or directly to a dermatologist. That way, they can be examined and evaluated effectively and on time.

The most notable thing about the moles cancerous growths is that they are bigger than their counterparts. They are usually larger than a 6 millimetres. This size roughly corresponds to the diameter of the top part of a pencil. The next most easily recognisable thing about these growths is that they have uneven colour. They typically have differently coloured parts with varying shades of brown and tan.

The cancerous growths typically have irregular edges. Often, they are more difficult to recognise simply because the irregularities are very small. One way to inspect such growths is to use a magnifying glass. You can also try stretching the skin in the area just a little bit. That way, the edges will become clearer.

Usually, the first sign that people are told to look for is asymmetry. However, it is often difficult to tell too. In the case of asymmetric growth, when you draw an imaginary line from one edge to another through the centre, the who halves which get formed differ in shape and sometimes in size as well. An easier approach to adopt is to look at the overall shape of the growth. If it is not perfectly round, then it should be regarded as suspicious.

Moles Cancerous: Development

The main factor which makes cancerous growths different from benign moles is that they constantly evolve. They grow and change their shape and sometimes their colour over time. If a mole changes then it should be regarded as suspicious and you should have it checked by a dermatologist. However, you should not wait and monitor a growth over time if it already shows the other suspicious signs described above.

Overall, even if you have the slightest reason to believe that you have one or more moles cancerous, you should book an appointment with a dermatologist right away.

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