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While it’s true that moles can be an indicator of cancerous growth, not all moles are bad for you.

Identifying-Cancerous-Moles

In fact, a majority of moles are benign, and regular moles will not tend to turn cancerous. Even with this in mind, it’s important to know how to spot obvious signs that your body has changed in case of skin cancer. Early detection can be crucial in treating melanoma, so talk to your doctor about any concerns or precautionary measures to be taken.

Regular screening means that early detection is possible, in addition to providing peace of mind when you’re satisfied that your moles appear as they normally do. Regular screening can help you with being more familiar about your own body.

Screening will take longer for individuals with more moles than less, but you will be able to speed up the process over time.

The screening checks for new moles and moles that have changed in appearance. Obvious indicators of an abnormal mole are moles that bleed or ooze puss. Moles that are flakey or scaly can be an indication of abnormality as well.

Regular moles should not be tender or painful to the touch where there is not wound or injury.

Identifying Signs of Mole Cancer Using the ABC’s

The first five letters can be used as a mnemonic device to remind yourself of what you’re looking for during screening.

  1. Asymmetry
    Moles are usually round, so unusually shaped moles deserve more attention.
  2. Border
    Normal moles are dark while the surrounding area is clearly a different color. Jagged borders are not a good sign that the mole is benign.
  3. Colour
    Moles are usually a dark brown colour, but cancerous moles can be multicoloured. Some cancerous moles are red, white, or even slightly blue in colour.
  4. Diameter
    Some moles are naturally small while others are large. Irregular moles that require more attention can be larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil.
  5. Evolving
    A mole that looks different over time, even if it doesn’t show the indicators above, is a cause for concern.

The only way to be sure if a mole is cancerous is through a biopsy, which involves removing tissue from an area for testing at the laboratory facilities.


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