Any mole, sore, bump, imperfection, mark or unusual change in the appearance or sensation of an area of the skin could be a sign of melanoma or other skin cancer or a warning that it may occur.
Normal moles normally
A normal mole is a brown, cinnamon, or black spot color on the skin. It can be flat or prominent, round or oval. Generally, moles are less than 6 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) wide (about the width of a pencil gum). Some moles may be present at birth, but most appear during childhood or youth. A doctor should examine new moles that appear later in a person’s life.
Once a mole has originated, it will usually retain the same size, shape and color for many years. Eventually, some moles can disappear Cancer Treatment.
Most people have moles, and almost all are harmless. However, it is important to recognize changes in a mole (such as its size, shape or color), which may suggest that a melanoma is developing.
Possible signs and symptoms of melanoma
The most important signal for melanoma is a new mole on the skin or an existing one that has changed in size, shape or color. Another important sign is a mole that looks different from the others on your skin (known as the sign of the ugly duckling). If you have any of these signs, see your doctor for a skin patch.
The ABCDE rule is another method to identify the usual signs of melanoma. Stay alert and notify your doctor if you notice moles that have any of the following characteristics:
- An Asymmetry: half of the mole or birthmark does not correspond to the other half.
- B of Edge: the edges are irregular, uneven, jagged or poorly defined.
- C Color: the color is not uniform and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with pink, red, blue or white spots.
- Diameter D: The mole is more than 6 millimeters wide (about ¼ inch or about the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
- E of Evolution: the size, shape or colors of the mole are changing.
Some melanomas do not follow the rules described above. It is important to inform your doctor about any change in your skin or new lunar, or growths that you see as something different from the rest of your moles.
Other warning signs are:
- A sore that does not heal.
- Propagation of the pigment from the edge of a stain to the surrounding skin.
- Redness or a new inflammation beyond the edge.
- Change in sensation (itching, sensitivity or pain).
- Change in the surface of a mole (scaling, exudation, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or nodule).
Be sure to show your doctor any areas of concern and request that you look at the areas that you have difficulty seeing. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the difference between a melanoma and an ordinary mole, even for doctors. Therefore, it is important to show your doctor any mole that is doubtful.