Can a mole you have had for years become cancerous?

How long does it take for a mole to become cancerous?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.

Can pre existing mole turns cancerous?

“Some people say that existing moles are like any other skin and are not precancerous, but we do know that melanomas can arise in pre-existing moles,” she said. Although the best way to find any skin cancer is to examine your skin, patients often misunderstand what they are looking at, Day added.

Can benign moles turn cancerous?

A benign mole can sometimes develop into skin cancer. Skin cancer arising from a benign mole is malignant melanoma, which is a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can be fatal if not treated early. The best way to survive malignant melanoma is to diagnose and treat it early.

Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell by looking at a mole whether it’s cancerous or what type it is. It could very well be a normal skin spot with an abnormal appearance. A dermatologist can’t always tell the difference either.

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What do non cancerous moles look like?

While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear. D is for Diameter and Dark.

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

Can a mole look like melanoma but be benign?

Funny-looking moles may look like melanoma but are actually harmless (benign) spots that don’t need to be removed. However, if you have a few, particularly five or more of these funny-looking moles, your chance of getting a melanoma is increased.

How can you tell if a mole is precancerous?

What Are the Signs of a Precancerous Mole?

  1. Asymmetry. A common mole is typically symmetrical. …
  2. Border. The borders of precancerous moles are often blurred. …
  3. Color. Whereas a common mole is one color, a precancerous mole is often a mixture of various colors like brown, black, red, or blue.
  4. Diameter. …
  5. Enlarging.

How do you tell if a mole is benign or malignant?

Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma

  1. Asymmetry: the sides of the mole or growth don’t match.
  2. Border: the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  3. Color: the color within the mole or growth varies.
  4. Diameter: the mole or growth is larger than 6 millimeters (size of a pencil eraser).
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When should a mole be checked out?

If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.