Cancerous Mole: Identification and Treatment
Summary: A cancerous mole can be differentiated from a normal mole by looking at its symmetry, borders, colour, diameter and finally if it appears to change over time. Treatment can either be a simple surgery or in the cases of a melanoma different treatments like chemo and radiation.
It has been found that skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. What makes this ailment all the more terrifying is the fact that its first appearance is in many cases in the form of a harmless mole. Research indicates that certain types of moles make a person more susceptible to Melanomas. We have all grown up rarely if ever paying any attention to the many moles that crop up during our lifetime. So how does one distinguish between a normal mole and a cancerous mole? For starters, it is important to understand that a mole is normally a benign tumour that is formed from the cells of the skin that form melanin. A cancerous mole is called dysplastic nevi. In them, the melanin cells mutate into skin cancer.
Cancerous Mole: What to do if you think you have one.
If you suspect a mole of being abnormal for any reason, you must immediately consult a doctor. After an initial family and medical history of melanomas and cancerous moles a doctor can perform a skin biopsy if he suspects cancer. This is done to gauge the penetration of the cancer into your skin. Before consulting a doctor though, there are some basic things you can look for to decide for yourself if these moles are in fact dangerous. For this, you need to perform a self examination where you stand in front of a full length mirror and comb through you body, paying special attention to those parts of your body that are constantly exposed to the sun, looking for moles that seem to have changed their appearance over time. If you have an itchy mole you need to see a doctor.
For this doctors have coined a useful 5 factor rule called the ABCDE rule. This stands for Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolution (ABCDE). If the mole seems asymmetrical such that one half does not match the other half, or if the borders of the mole are not clearly defined such that they are ragged, blurred or irregular you may have cause for suspicion. If the mole has different colours on it like different shades of tan, black or brown with patches of white, red or even blue it may be a cancerous mole.
If the diameter of the mole is greater than 6 millimetres or if the mole seems to be changing over time, it is important you consult a doctor immediately. The treatment of a cancerous mole is subjective. In some cases, like when it is a carcinoma it is enough if the mole is removed while in other cases like when it is a melanoma, the patient will need to undergo other treatment methods like radiation therapy, surgery and even chemotherapy. Like most cancers, cancerous moles too have a 100% recovery rate if diagnosed at the right time.