Most moles are harmless. Rarely, they become cancerous. Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in detecting skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.
Can a mole grow and not be cancerous?
Most moles are benign. This means they are harmless and do not cause cancer. However, sometimes they grow and become malignant. This means they are cancerous and must be removed.
Is it normal for moles to grow?
Changing mole: It’s normal for a mole to grow at the same rate as a child. It’s also natural for a child’s moles to get darker or lighter. If a mole is growing (or changing) quickly, this can be worrisome. A mole can also be worrisome if a change causes the mole to look different from your child’s other moles.
Can moles grow and be harmless?
Moles are benign (noncancerous) growths of the skin caused by the proliferation of melanocytes, which produce the dark protective pigment in the skin called melanin. Most moles appear in individuals during their 20s, though some may appear later in life and some may be present at birth.
What is the chance of a mole being 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 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.
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.
How fast does a cancerous mole grow?
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.
Why has my mole got bigger?
Although your pattern of moles is most likely determined by your genetics, sun exposure can cause you to have more moles, and can cause the ones you already have to get darker. New moles tend to appear and existing ones tend to get larger and darker during the teen years and during pregnancy.
Why is my mole suddenly raised?
Although most moles are noncancerous, or benign, the development of a new mole or sudden changes to existing moles in an adult can be a sign of melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer.
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.
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.
When should I worry about my mole?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.