People with moles should be in a position to tell what cancerous moles look like. This post helps you learn the various cancerous mole signs, what cancerous moles on the back and breast mean, the various types of cancerous moles as well as some pictures to tell them apart.
Cancerous Moles Signs
Most moles tend to be benign. However, the possibility of it becoming cancerous increases with an increase in the number of moles and where there are family members who have been diagnosed with moles melanoma. It is therefore important to know what signs of a cancerous mole to look out for. People who have them should have a monthly skin inspection to enable them identify cancerous moles signs early enough. This will increase the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
The moles that should be of greatest medical concern are those that appear for the first time in adulthood and those that look different from others. Any change in color, size or appearance should be evaluated by a dermatologist. The same applies when it becomes itchy, bleeds, tender, painful or oozes.
To notice cancerous mole signs, one should examine their skin using a full length mirror. More attention should be given to areas that get exposed to the sun. These include hands, arms, head and chest. For places that are hard to see using one mirror, a smaller hand held one could help. Among the cancerous signs to look for are as discussed below and are abbreviated as ABCDEs. Any of the signs should be discussed with a dermatologist.
- Asymmetry: This refers to a mole having halves that do not match each other. When they are normal, they will have a regular shape which if cut into two would yield two symmetrical halves.
- Border: Non-cancerous moles have borders that are fine and well defined. In case this changes into ragged and blurred; it should be taken as a cancer sign.
- Color: Where there are different colors in one mole or where one has a different color from others.
- Diameter: Any mole with a diameter larger than that of a pencil eraser should be examined.
- Evolving: Those that appear to be growing in size, become elevated, bleed, itch or undergo any other form of evolution should be checked by a dermatologist.
Some moles may only show a single cancerous sign while others may have a number of them. Any slight change should therefore be reported to the dermatologist. They will then examine it and decide if a biopsy is necessary or if it only needs close observation. Treatment will then be offered depending on the results.
Types of Cancerous Moles
Not all types of moles are cancerous. Knowing the types that are cancerous will play a big role in ensuring that professional help is sought early enough.
There are people who have very many normal and abnormal cells. They tend to be at a higher risk of getting skin cancer. This condition is known as atypical mole syndrome. These moles have the following characteristics:
- Are found in clusters of over 100 moles.
- Have a diameter larger than the normal six millimeters
- Most of them are atypical.
People who have atypical mole syndrome and come from families where melanoma is common are said to suffer from familial atypical mole melanoma syndrome. They are exceptionally at a higher risk of getting melanoma. With this disorder, new moles are likely to arise in adulthood.
Dysplastic nevi, also known as atypical moles, are another type that is likely to develop into melanoma. People who have them can develop either single or multiple melanoma. The risk increases with an increase in the number of these moles. Atypical moles are most common in melanoma patients. Up to eight per cent of Caucasians have them. Those with close family members with a melanoma history are at an even higher risk of getting cancer.
Another type of cancerous moles is one that has become black with time. This could be an evolution from another mole pigment. When this happens, there is a likelihood for it to develop into black mole cancer.
Pictures of Cancerous Moles
Cancerous Moles on Back
Men are most likely to have cancerous moles on the back though women too could get it. Cancerous moles on back are likely to manifest themselves with ease since the back is not in our view. As a result, changes such as gaining asymmetry increase in size, having uneven borders and other evolving features will go unnoticed. When this is the case, the cancerous mole may only get noticed when the melanoma is a bit advanced. This is when they have stated itching or bleeding.
To help increase the chances of getting cancer treatment early enough, it is important to conduct monthly self-skin examination. This should be done even on the back. A full length mirror can help achieve this. Where this is not possible one can use a family member to look at those on the back. If one sticks to a single individual, they are likely to notice emerging cancerous moles on back early enough. This will increase the chances of getting cured.
Cancerous Moles on Breast
A recent study shows that breast cancer is linked to melanoma. It is therefore possible for a woman to develop cancerous moles on breast after suffering from breast cancer. In the same way, a person who has suffered from breast cancer is likely to develop cancerous moles on the breast.
The above association is most common in women aged over 50 years. This mutual association has been attributed to genetics. Other factors that may contribute to this are socioeconomic factors. Tendencies such as lack of use of sunscreen, tobacco and alcohol use are all attributed to people in a certain economic strata. Female hormones also contribute in stimulating melanoma growth and draw a close relationship between melanoma and pregnancy.
To help catch both types of cancer and increase the chances of early treatment, it is important to do self-breast examination at the same time that one is doing skin examination.
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