When should I worry about a cancerous mole?

What does a mole look like if it is cancerous?

A cancerous mole will have edges that look ragged, notched or blurred. Uneven color: A normal mole will have a single shade of brown that is evenly distributed throughout. A cancerous mole will have shades or hues of black and brown. In between, areas of red, pink, white, gray or blue may also be seen.

How likely is a mole to be cancerous?

The risk of an atypical mole becoming cancerous is about 1%, compared to . 03% for an ordinary mole. In addition to atypical moles, risk factors for developing melanoma include: Red or blond hair.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

When should you have a mole checked?

Most moles are benign (non-cancerous). If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, have your mole evaluated by a dermatologist. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.

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Can a mole look cancerous but not be?

An atypical mole is not a skin cancer but having these moles is a risk factor for developing melanoma. Although rare, melanoma can arise in association with atypical moles. That is why it is important to be aware of these moles, get them checked by your dermatologist, and watch out for changing moles.

Does a cancerous mole change quickly?

Nodular melanomas are raised and are even in colour (often red or pink and some are brown or black). This type of melanoma grows quickly and can be life-threatening if not detected and removed quickly. See your doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.

What does Stage 1 melanoma mean?

In Stage I melanoma, the cancer cells are in both the first and second layers of the skin—the epidermis and the dermis. A melanoma tumor is considered Stage I if it is up to 2 mm thick, and it may or may not have ulceration. There is no evidence the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or distant sites (metastasis).

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.

What do worrisome moles look like?

If you see any of the following signs, contact your healthcare provider: A new, possibly large, irregularly shaped, dark brownish spot with darker or black areas. A simple mole that changes in color (particularly turning darker), size (growing), or texture (becoming firmer), and/or flakes or bleeds.

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