Are Your Moles Cancerous? Learn Here…
While having moles on the body is totally normal, they can be a sign of the skin cancer. Therefore, it is essential to know their types and numbers as well on your body.
Moles are raised skin growth and pop up anywhere on the skin. The number of moles can be 10 up to 40 in adults. It appears in all shapes, sizes, and colours.
Moles on the side of lips are seen as beauty spots (think Marilyn Monroe or Madonna). Besides, they are used in astrology to determine person’s luck or characteristics. But for most of the people, moles are just a brown spots than anything else.
Can they harm your health?
Well, having moles on the body is totally normal. However, they are associated with the symptoms of skin cancers, especially when there are changes in their sizes, colors and shapes.
This is why it is important to take a note of your moles in terms of shape and color.
What are the Types of Body Mole?
Also known as congenital nevus, congenital moles are present on the skin since birth. Or they are birthmark. Being found in 1 percent people, this type is associated with cancer. They are caused by the spread of benign melanocytes in dermis or epidermis or in both.
This type starts occurring during childhood or early adulthood. They are considered as a type of benign neoplasm. And they develop under the skin or on the pigmented growth of the skin. These moles are usually ¼ inch small, but tend to outbreak when exposed to excessive sun. Luckily, they are not associated with skin cancer.
Also known as dysplastic nevi, atypical moles are uneven in color and recognized by their larger and irregular shape. They are surrounded by black dots. They are believed to be genetic in nature, and can cause skin cancer.
Junctional Melanocytic Nevi
Junctional melanocytic nevi are caused by the accumulation of melanocytes at the meeting points of dermis and epidermis. Such mole type can be identified by the regular borders and dark pigmentation. They appear between childhood and early adulthood as melanocytes tends to travel to the deeper skin layers in this age.
They look like their surrounded skin due to their flesh color. Unlike junctional melanocytic nevei, they are not dark as they occur in the dermis and middle layer of the skin.
Halo nevi are encircled by a ring of skin, which has lost pigmentation due to inflammatory infiltrating cells. Researchers haven’t found the exact cause of this reaction.
How to Tell If My Mole is Safe?
Given that moles can be a sign of skin cancer, you must be worried if your moles are safe. Fret not! Here are some things helping you in that.
Changes in Color:
Have you noticed changes in the color of your mole over the years? Moles which are dark, brown, grey or inconsistent in color (meaning that it is black in the middle and tan, white, red, or pink) in patches or near the outside require immediate medical assistance.
Is your mole is marked with inconsistencies—like, there are changes in color, shape, height or surface texture? These signs point towards serious health concerns. Therefore, get it inspected by your physician.
If moles are healthy, they are defined by border outside their circumference. However, a cancerous mole is likely to appear blurred or irregular around the outside edges. They feel raised to the touch with scalloped edges and ragged.
Feeling Pain When They are Touched:
Is your moles causing pain or is tender to the touch? Don’t take it lightly, especially if the moles are filled with blood or fluid. Rush to your physician for an immediate skin exam.
Healthy moles don’t grow any larger in size than ¼ inches in width. If you have a mole that’s large or slowly growing in size, seek medical assistance.
Miscellaneous Factors to Determine Cancerous Moles:
- If a new mole or sore are not healing, despite of care and medical assistance.
- If they appear lumpy, rough, dry and scale on the surface.
- If it is itchy to the touch.
- If it is heredity (passed down by family members).
- If it is greater than 6 mm.
In simple words, you can determine the cancerous mole with ABCDE rule given below:
- A is for Asymmetry
- B is for Border
- C is for Color
- D is for Diameter
- E is for Evolving
How Cancerous Moles are Treated?
Surgeries are used to remove cancerous moles. However, it should be done in earlier stages to cure the chances of the cancer. Here are some treatments used to remove the moles:
- Surgical Mole Removal
- Mohs’ Microsurgery
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
- Lymph Node Removal
However, the complex treatments are prescribed if the melanoma has gone beyond to internal organs. Such treatments are …
Sometime these treatments are also prescribed in a combined form if the skin cancer has affected other organs. However, the treatment decision is made on the factors like age and overall health; stage of cancer; effect of treatment; and possible side effects. One more thing-mole removal is a surgical process, meaning that it can hurt you. Although you may be given anesthetic shot, use a topical anesthetic like numbing cream to desensitize your skin. Apply it an hour before the process like an ordinary skin cream.
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