Do you have skin moles and worry that they may become cancerous? The good news is that most skin moles are, and remain, benign. However, these skin growths do have the potential to become cancerous. If melanoma is discovered early, the chances of recovery are greater. But how can you tell the difference between a cancerous mole and a benign mole? Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction.
Melanoma accounts for less than 5% of all skin cancer instances. That being said, it also has the highest mortality rate of all skin cancers and can quickly spread to other parts of your body. Melanoma typically presents as a brown, red, or black spot that is irregularly shaped. Melanoma may appear on the lower leg, trunk area, soles of the feet, underneath the nails, or palm of the hands.
Identifying cancerous moles is simplified using the alphabet system, also called “ABCDE.”
Asymmetry – Look for any mole asymmetry or irregularity.
Border – Is the lesion’s border irregularly shaped?
Color – Has a mole or lesion changed colors recently? Have any new lesions appeared?
Diameter – It’s generally accepted that moles should be LESS THAN six millimeters. Any moles larger than this should be examined by a doctor.
Elevation – You should keep an eye out for any changes in the height of the mole.