Melanoma and Moles

Skin cancer is one of the most frequently occurring diseases in America, and few people know how to recognize problems with their skin that need to bed addressed by a doctor. Below, we discuss the prevalence of moles when it comes to detecting melanoma.

What is a Mole

To understand about moles when it comes to melanoma, it helps to know exactly what a mole is. Moles are in fact benign growths of melanocytes- the ‘color cells present in the skin. Most moles appear in the first year of life, and the number of moles a person has often peaks when they are between 20 and 30.

More moles are known to be present in youths who have higher amounts of sun exposure. The more a child is sunburned, the greater the number of moles they tend to have. In fact, one of the best indicators of a persons risk of developing malignant melanoma is counting the number of moles present on their body.

Mole Count

Counting the number of moles on one arm is commonly used as an indicator the number of moles on a persons body. Moles can grow all through a persons lifespan, and the simple growth of a mole does not indicate that a person will develop melanoma.

Types of Melanoma

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. There are three; basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the only type of skin cancer that represents a threat to other parts of the body due to its capability of spreading outside of the area of the tumor. Due to that reason, malignant melanoma is the most likely type of skin cancer to result in death.

When skin cancer is detected early, even melanoma diagnoses are often fully treatable. While moles do not need to be present for malignant melanoma to occur, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the moles on your body to ensure that cancer isnt present.

Signs to Look For

When checking the moles of your body for the prospect of skin cancer, there are various factors to consider.

First, note any asymmetry that occurs in your moles. If any of the following symptoms are noted with your moles, its important to talk to a doctor to ensure that any problems that show up can be taken care of before they grow to be a more serious issue. Moles tend to grow uniformly and evenly, and when one area of the mole begins to grow faster than the others, a problem may be present.

Its also important to note the appearance of the border of the mole; they should be uniform and defined.

If the borders of one of your moles begins to become poorly defined, hazy, or abnormal, its important to get it checked out. If one of your moles begins to change in color, with red, gray, or white pigments present, you should consult your physician.

Finally, if your mole grows in size to be bigger than one centimeter or starts a sudden growth spurt after age 20, you should speak to a doctor. Its important to keep an eye on your own body; 50 percent of all skin cancer cases are found via a self examination.

See Also:

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

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