Not everyone with moles will develop skin cancer, and it shouldn’t be something that people with moles should worry about or dwell upon more than is necessary. However, it is true that some moles do go on to develop into malignant melanoma, and it is important to be educated and aware of the signs of skin cancer moles.
Skin cancer is one of the fastest growing types of cancers, due in no small part to the fashion for having a suntan and the rising use of products such as sun beds. Cure rates for cancer, however, are excellent when caught early, so if you suspect something is happening with your skin it should immediately be investigated by a doctor or specialist dermatologist. Preventing skin cancer before it starts by taking sensible precautions when going out in the sun, covering up at the hottest part of the day and always using a high factor sunscreen cream is far better than trying to deal with it when it has already developed.
Identifying which moles are causing concern relies mainly on identifying changes in the moles over a period of time. As a consequence, it is important to get to know where your moles are on your body and what they look like, so you will be able to quickly detect any changes which may be something that requires further checks and investigation by a medical professional.
Moles come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it is important to be familiar with your moles and to know what is normal for you. Moles which appear to be growing quickly or moles which grow to a diameter of more than 7 millimeters should be reported to the doctor. Healthy moles are smooth and rounded and do not have bumpy or ragged edges. Moles which are becoming ragged or which are looking irregular could be signs that the cells in the mole are becoming cancerous. This should be checked out straight away by a doctor.
Healthy moles are smooth to the touch. Some may be raised from the surface of the skin and some may be flat, but both types are normal. Signs of skin cancer moles can be moles that become crusty or rough to the touch and moles that start to itch. This sort of irritation can be easily mistaken for other skin conditions, but if the itchiness and irritation persists, it should be referred for further tests. Many itchy or scaly patches on the skin are not skin cancer, and may be fixed by intensive moisturizing or other treatment regimes. Moles can be many shades of color from skin tone right through to dark brown, and all are normal. Moles which suddenly become darker or redden should be investigated, as should any bleeding from a mole which is not rubbing against clothes or which hasn’t been knocked or bumped. One of the other main causes for concern is moles which seem to develop sores on them which take time to heal.
Moles appear on the body at any time from birth up to the age of around 40, so having a new mole appearing suddenly is not necessarily a cause for concern. If the mole which is developing is regular in shape and color, it is nothing to be alarmed about, although it should be monitored as with all other moles. However, if a new mole appears that is irregular around the edges or that is raised and bumpy, this could be one of the early signs that all is not well and should be investigated.