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Spotting Abnormal Moles: 10 Signs Moles May Be Cancerous

Cancerous moles are a type of skin cancer that can be easily overlooked. While moles are common skin growths and often harmless, it is important to keep an eye on them. After all, some moles can be a sign of skin cancer.

That’s why it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of cancerous moles in order to detect them early and prevent them from developing into a more serious condition. In this article, we will explore 10 signs that a mole may be cancerous. Given how the signs of melanoma can go unnoticed, it’s helpful to research this information online before consulting a doctor.

1. Asymmetry

One sign that a mole may be cancerous is asymmetry. If one half of the mole looks different from the other half, it could be a cause for concern. Non-cancerous moles tend to be symmetrical.

2. Irregular Borders

Another sign of a cancerous mole is irregular borders. The edges of the mole may be ragged or blurred instead of having a smooth, defined border.

3. Varied Colors

Cancerous moles may also have varied colors, including shades of brown, black, white, red, or blue. Non-cancerous moles tend to be a single shade of brown.

4. Large Diameter

If a mole is larger than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser), it could be a sign of cancer. Moles of this size are called dysplastic moles. However, it is important to note that some cancerous moles can be smaller than this.

5. Evolution

Cancerous moles can change over time, so it is important to monitor any moles on your body for changes. Look for changes in color, shape, size, and texture.

6. Itching or Painful

If a mole starts to itch or becomes painful, it could be a sign of skin cancer. However, it is important to note that not all cancerous moles cause discomfort.

7. Ulceration

If a mole becomes ulcerated (develops a break in the skin), it could be a sign of skin cancer. This can cause bleeding or oozing from the mole.

8. Family History

If you have a family history of skin cancer, you may be more at risk for developing cancerous moles. It is important to monitor your skin regularly and visit a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

9. “Ugly Ducklings”

The concept of “ugly ducklings” refers to moles that look significantly different from other moles on your body. Non-cancerous moles tend to look similar, while cancerous moles may stand out as “ugly ducklings.”

10. Raised Moles

While not all raised moles are cancerous, it is important to monitor them for any changes that could indicate skin cancer. In some cases, a raised mole may be an early sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Melanoma can develop in existing moles or appear as new moles on the skin.

Self-Examine Regularly

Cancerous moles are a serious health concern, but with regular self-examinations and visits to a dermatologist, they can be detected and treated early. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancerous moles, including asymmetry, irregular borders, varied colors, large diameter, evolution, itching or pain, ulceration, family history, sun exposure, and age.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor or dermatologist can evaluate the mole and perform a biopsy if necessary. Early detection is key to successfully treating skin cancer, so don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you have any concerns.