Are those small brown spots or growth in the skin, we considered moles, normal? Why are there cancer moles? How do they differ with the normal ones?
Melanoma, is a term that describes a cancerous change in moles. It is one of the deadliest of skin cancer. Melanoma absolutely looks like a mole that can easily spread throughout the body. Any change of the mole’s structure is quite worrying. Cancer moles often exhibit symptoms in the form of bleeding and itching.
So, how can we be aware of the early signs and symptoms of cancer moles or melanoma?
- Know the ABCDE Rule:
A – Asymmetry
If you draw a line through the middle of the mole, the two halves are not approximate mirror images. Healthy moles are symmetrical in shape. Asymmetrical ones are abnormal. They have sides that look differently with the other.
Another way to detect an abnormal mole is to look at its border. If the mole has ill-defined or blurred borders, be more suspicious it could be cancerous.
C – Colors
Healthy moles come in just one color. But if a mole has different colors, it’s a cancerous one.
D – Diameter
If a mole has a diameter of more than 5 mm that could be suspicious.
E – Evolution
As a mole changes over time, notice its size, colour or shape. An other symptoms of change lik itching tenderness or bleeding.
- Family history of melanoma.
- If one has more than 50 moles in the body.
- If one has used sun beds extensively (resulting into sunburns and a lot of blistering).
- If mole starts to become itchy, gets hard and lumpy.
Now obviously, if one has a worrying mole, it would be necessary to consult a dermatologist. One should also seek medical advise if there’s a change in an existing mole.
So, if you have a mole that’s flat and not raised, you shouldn’t be worried about that. Same as the ones that are raised or even have hairs growing through them, this is not a worrying sign as well. Common moles rarely become cancer moles.
The best way to prevent cancer moles or melanoma to occur is to limit exposure to sunlight. Remember: having sunburns mean that the skin has been damaged by the sun, and continued tanning or burning increases the chance of developing melanoma.
Image Credits: Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation