Frequent question: Is an asymmetrical mole always cancer?

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Are irregular moles always cancerous?

While atypical moles are considered to be pre-cancerous (more likely to turn into melanoma than regular moles), not everyone who has atypical moles gets melanoma. In fact, most moles — both ordinary and atypical ones — never become cancerous. Thus the removal of all atypical nevi is unnecessary.

What does it mean if a mole is asymmetrical?

A = Asymmetry

Unlike healthy moles, melanomas are asymmetrical. One half does not match the other half in: Size. Shape.

Can uneven moles be benign?

Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking moles that have irregular features under the microscope. Though benign, they are worth more of your attention because individuals with atypical moles are at increased risk for melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer.

How do you know if moles are cancerous?

Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.

Can melanoma be symmetrical?

Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a round to oval and symmetrical common mole.

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When is a mole suspicious?

A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.

How often are biopsied moles cancerous?

Lab testing showed that more than 90 percent of biopsied moles were completely removed by using the single procedure, with 11 (7 percent) diagnosed as melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer.

Are all moles that grow cancerous?

Yes, but a common mole rarely turns into melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer. Although common moles are not cancerous, people who have more than 50 common moles have an increased chance of developing melanoma (1).

How quickly can a mole turn 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.

Which moles are cancerous?

Diameter: Cancerous moles can change in size, usually growing larger. If a mole becomes larger than 6 millimeters (one-quarter of an inch), it may be cancerous. Evolving: A change in the appearance of a mole over weeks or months may indicate that it is cancerous.