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Rusty Ford

Mole Skin Cancer Picture

Many times melanoma starts out at the site of a skin mole. When this happens the mole begins to change size, shape or color. The picture below shows the changes normal moles make while changing to melanoma.

mole-skin-cancer.gif

Mole Skin Cancer

Some moles may develop into a form of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma. Sunburns may increase the risk of melanoma. Moles that appear at birth are called congenital nevi. When such a mole is more than eight inches in diameter, it poses the greatest risk of skin cancer. Moles known as atypical moles/dysplastic moles are larger than average - usually larger than a pencil sharpener- and irregular in shape. They tend to have uneven color. These moles tend to be hereditary. Persons with atypical moles may have a greater than average chance of developing malignant melanoma. Moles should always be checked regularly for any changes.

Use the ABCD rule to help you remember what to look for when inspecting your moles.

  • Asymmetry: when one half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border irregularity: when the edges are ragged or blurred.
  • Colour: when the Colour is not the same all over.
  • Diameter: when the mole is greater than one quarter of an inch in size.

If you notice any changes while examining your moles (using the ABCD rule) then you should consult your doctor immediately! Remember! The majority of moles and other blemishes are noncancerous (benign). Occasionally though a mole may be a cancerous growth. Therefore it is best to get medical advice if a mole changes in size, shape, or Colour, or any other blemish is out of the ordinary. After a person reaches middle age, other dark areas may appear that are not moles. These brown, wart-like growths that appear on the face or trunk and look as if they have been stuck to the skin may be seborrheic keratosis. Multiple small grey brown spots that may appear on the wrists, back of hands, forearms and face could be actinic lentigines. These are also called liver spots or age spots. Seborrheic keratosis and actinic lentigines are very easily diagnosed by a doctor and are not cancerous.

 

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