What does a cancerous mole look like?
Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
Is an irregular mole always cancer?
An atypical mole is not a skin cancer but having these moles is a risk factor for developing melanoma. Although rare, melanoma can arise in association with atypical moles. That is why it is important to be aware of these moles, get them checked by your dermatologist, and watch out for changing moles.
What do abnormal moles look like?
Atypical moles can also be flat or raised. They also have these characteristics: They measure more than 1/4 inch (5 mm) across — larger than the size of a pencil eraser. They are irregularly shaped, with uneven borders that may fade into the skin around the mole.
What is an atypical mole?
(Dysplastic Nevus; Atypical Nevus)
Atypical moles are benign melanocytic nevi with irregular and ill-defined borders, variegated colors usually of brown and tan tones, and macular or papular components. Patients with atypical moles have an increased risk of melanoma.
When should I be worried about a mole?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.
Can cancerous moles kill you?
If malignant melanoma is recognized and treated early, like in my case, it is almost always curable. However, if it has time to spread to other parts of the body, it becomes very difficult to treat and can lead to death.
Can an irregular mole be benign?
Atypical moles are benign pigmented lesions. Although they are benign, they exhibit some of the clinical and histologic features of malignant melanoma. They are more common in fair-skinned individuals and in those with high sun exposure.
What makes a mole suspicious?
A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.
What percentage of mole biopsies are cancerous?
Lab testing showed that more than 90 percent of biopsied moles were completely removed by using the single procedure, with 11 (7 percent) diagnosed as melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer.
Does my mole look normal?
A normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised. It can be round or oval. Moles are generally less than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch) across (about the width of a pencil eraser).
How do I know if my mole is bad?
It’s important to get a new or existing mole checked out if it: changes shape or looks uneven. changes colour, gets darker or has more than 2 colours. starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding.
Should I worry about a mole on my head?
Should I Be Worried About the Mole on My Scalp? A mole can appear anywhere on your body, including your scalp. Like other moles on your body, those on your scalp should be monitored for changes that could be an early warning sign of melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer.
Should I be worried about an atypical mole?
Yes. An atypical mole that is itching, painful, swelling, crusting or oozing should be checked immediately by a dermatologist or other physician experienced with skin disorders.
How can you tell the difference between atypical moles and melanoma?
Like dysplastic nevi, melanoma presents itself as an asymmetrical, multicolored growth with an irregular border.
Some other characteristics of atypical moles are:
- Larger than average moles.
- The surface can be bumpy or smooth.
- Can have a raised darker center surrounded by a flat, lighter area.
Do atypical moles need to be removed?
These moles are not cancerous, and need not be removed if they are not changing. Instead, atypical moles can be a sign of an increased risk for melanoma skin cancer. Therefore, people with atypical moles are recommended to have regular skin checks with a doctor.