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Cancerous Moles: Signs and Symptoms

Cancerous moles are a type of skin tumor, which can prove to be fatal if not treated in time. This HealthHearty article talks about their symptoms, and ways to detect them.
Mubasherin Sayed
Moles on skin appear in an early age or during the early years of adulthood. All moles are not cancerous, but some of them can become cancerous after a period of time. People who get skin moles in adulthood should be more careful as it is a little unusual to get moles in that age, and that might lead to a case of melanoma (serious type of skin cancer). Thus, it is necessary to check for their symptoms on a regular basis.
What Do Cancerous Moles Look Like?
Skin moles are brown, tan, or pink in color. They appear to be smooth and are either flat or raised. They can also appear flat initially and become elevated over time. Normal moles are generally oval or round in shape. They may sometimes be similar to the person's skin color too. Cancerous moles generally look different when compared to normal moles, and you can find a difference in color, shape, or size. Therefore, it is very important to notice all these differences in case you have moles on your skin. Some appear on the skin due to exposure to sun, and they look different from each other. They may not be cancerous initially, but can become so over a period of time. Hence, they should be treated on time.
Symptoms
There are certain symptoms that everyone must be careful about. Let us see the different signs that can be recognized easily.
Elevation
The mole or a part of it will be raised or elevated. Melanoma blisters mostly change very rapidly in size. If you see any changes such as an increase or decrease in size, itching, color change, or bleeding, then consult a doctor immediately.
Diameter
Normal moles are usually less than 6 millimeters. Consult a dermatologist if your mole appears to be larger than the mentioned size. This is one of the most common signs.
Color
A normal mole is typically of the same color throughout. A suspicious mole, on the other hand, will be of different shades of either the same color or of different colors, like shades of brown, tan, black, blue, or red. This is one of the symptoms which is quite prominent, and needs to be acknowledged immediately.
Borders
Melanoma lesions mostly have uneven borders. If your mole has a uneven border, that is, if its edges appear blurred, then consult a doctor immediately.
Asymmetry
Moles look the same if divided into two halves. This is one of the trickiest cancerous moles signs. Divide your mole into two equal halves (in your imagination of course!). Now compare the two halves with each other. If you find them different in any way, consult a dermatologist.
Precaution and Treatment
It is advised to check your body every month if you have moles. Men generally get moles on their back, while women on their lower leg. But, it is better if you check your entire body, especially after having a bath or when your skin is wet. Check areas like your neck, arm pits, and the area behind your knees, where the moles will not be easily noticeable.
The doctors will remove a tissue sample for testing (biopsy). If the mole turns out to be a cancerous one, the doctor will remove the mole and the skin around it. You might need a few stitches to close the wound after the mole removal. The procedure is quite painful, and hence, requires anesthesia. Additional treatment might be required in some cases. Skin cancer or melanoma can be cured if detected early, otherwise the treatment becomes very difficult, with less chances of survival. People with cancerous moles should be careful even after the treatment, as there are chances of it recurring. They should go for a check up at least once a year.
The aforementioned symptoms should not be ignored as they can prove to be dangerous. You need to check for them carefully before it becomes too late.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.