How to tell if a mole is cancerous

Written by: Dr. Ángel López Ávila
Published: | Updated: 15/11/2018
Edited by: Patricia Pujante Crespo

Having moles on the skin is something physiological normal. It is not serious but when changes in them (shape, color or diameter) occur, you should seek the advice of a medical specialist in dermatology, in order to quickly analyze and detect the possible presence of melanoma.

Melanoma skin cancer arising from a mole

Melanoma is a like a mole malignant tumor that appears on the skin. It is a type of cancer that can occur at any age but, if detected early, can be cured completely. However, the fact that he had a melanoma force the patient to control skin for life, to detect possible recurrence as well as a possible second melanoma.


Signs and diagnosis of melanoma

A melanoma may appear as a light spot on healthy skin or can develop from a mole that already existed. Such a stain can grow and increase in size, change its color and shape, and even thicken. Diagnosis is based on physical examination, and a skin biopsy, since blood tests do not allow to detect.


How to identify a suspect mole melanoma

A mole begins to be suspicious when changes appearance. Thus, new spots around the original (satellite lesions) appear. Occasional scabs will also form and disappear again form on the surface of the stain. Keep in mind that bleeding is a late sign in melanoma.


Parts of the body more prone to suffer from melanoma

Prone to melanoma moles can be located anywhere in the body, including genitals or under fingernails. However, there are common areas that require special attention:- Legs, in the case of women- Back, in the case of men and women- Face in elderly


When to See a dermatologist: diagnostic test A, B, CD, E

To find out if you should go to the specialist 's office in Dermatology , the patient the following questions should be. If the answer is "yes" to any of these criteria, the physician must examine the moon:

A = Asymmetry. The mole has strange and asymmetrically.B = Border. The edge of the mole is uneven, geographical map.C = Color. The mole has several colors (shades of pink brown, reddish brown or blackish, usually).D = Dimension. The spot is larger than 6 mm in diameter (this rule applies for lunar not birth).E = Evolution. The size of the mole has increased in size or changing appearance


Sun exposure and melanoma - related

Repeated sun exposure, especially one that causes serious sunburn during childhood and adolescence is the most dangerous, at double the risk of melanoma. In fact, two out of three melanomas are associated with excessive exposure to the sun.Moreover, exposure to artificial UV light (sunlamps or sun), also doubles the risk of melanoma.


People at higher risk for melanoma

Some people are at higher risk of developing melanoma:- People with light skin and hair suffer sunburn easily.- People who work outdoors, exposed to the sun for long periods.- People using UV lamps unprotected skin.- People who have many moles with more than 5mm diameter (recommended to note that not all moles become cancer). risk factor have> 50-100 moles are considered.- People with a family history of melanoma. 10% of the cases, approximately, is due to genetic causes.


It is recommended to monitor moles regularly. If changes in shape, color, size, edge or feeling are detected, consult with the expert in dermatology.


Edited by Patricia Crespo Pujante

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dr. Ángel López Ávila

By Dr. Ángel López Ávila

Dr. López Ávila is a reputed expert in Dermatology. He has more than 25 years of experience in the profession, specializing in the treatment and treatment of skin cancer, pediatric dermatology, lupus, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, among other skin diseases. He currently practices in Dermatological Clinic and in the Murciano Health Service. On the other hand, he is the author of numerous scientific papers of the specialty.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection