The panicker's guide to moles and skin cancer : how to tell if your moles are at risk of becoming cancerous
There are some easy signs to spot.
, and that includes paying special attention to our moles. But how do you know what to look out for? Is a raised mole always cancerous? Is a black mole okay? What mole changes do you need to keep a close eye on? Cluing yourself up on the tell-tale signs that indicate your mole may have the potential to become cancerous can protect your health and also serve to reassure you.
We spoke to Claire Crilly, Skin Cancer Screening Specialist atThe MOLE Clinic, who pointed out which mole aesthetics could be cause for concern, and which most likely mean you've got nothing to worry about."Moles are like a family, there should always be another mole that looks similar," explained Crilly."If you have a mole on its own and looks as if it does not fit on your body, seek professional guidance from a skin cancer specialist."
Everyone should self-monitor all of their moles every three months, and this can be done at home using the ‘ABCDE’ technique:A) Asymmetry:Look for moles that are asymmetrical in shape, where one half of the mole is unlike the otherB) Irregular Border: headtopics.com
Does the mole have an irregular border? Is it scalloped, jagged or poorly defined?C) Irregular Colour:Is the colour of the mole different from one area to another or does it have different shades of tan, brown or black?D) Diameter:Check the diameter of the mole to see if it is bigger than 6mm (about the size of the end of a pencil)
E) Evolution:Is the mole evolving or changing size, shape or colour?"Anyorchangingmoles should be seen by a skin cancer specialist," adds Crilly, who notes that"some people are at higher risk of melanoma than others due to for example, family history of melanoma, personal history, having over 100 moles, or atypical moles and should be monitored according to the above guidelines."
But for more detail about different characteristics of moles, and the level of risk they hold, read on...Your mole is... asymmetricalThe MOLE ClinicBenign (non-cancerous) moles tend to be symmetrical. If you were to place an imaginary mirror in a line in the middle of the mole, it should be the same on either side. Remember, all moles are individual to the person, and no moles will be perfect. If a mole is asymmetrical seek advice from a skin cancer specialist.
Your mole is... raised above the skinThe MOLE ClinicThere are many reasons why raised moles occur, the main one being a healthy benign intradermal mole, which can be genetic, long standing, soft and sometimes wobbly to touch. They may lose colour or get darker with age. These types of moles should be monitored for drastic change, but generally aren't cause for concern. headtopics.com
However, moles that change and become raised could be an indication of melanoma (as pictured above), and as mentioned previously, if a mole changes, seek advice from skin cancer specialist.Your mole is... bigGetty ImagesSome moles may be big due to the type of mole they are, for example a congenital mole (also known as a birthmark) which are present from birth and do not tend to change. However, due to their size and dark pigment they are higher risk for melanoma, so keep an eye out for any changes or for any of the symptoms listed in the 'ABCDE' guide above.
Your mole has... many coloursThe MOLE ClinicIf your mole has multiple colours you should seek advice from a skin cancer specialist.Your mole is... black/very dark in colourThe MOLE ClinicDepending on your skin type, your moles may well be darker in colour. Again this reverts back to your individual moles and what is normal for you. If all of your moles are similar then that is a good sign. Also, there is a lesion called simple lentigo, also known as an ink spot, which are extremely black but benign. It is always safe to have these lesions assessed due to the dark pigment.
However, if your mole is dark in colour and different to others, or if it has changed in colour to become dark, do seek advice from a skin specialist. The mole pictured above is an example of a melanoma mole.Your mole is... growing in size or changing shape
The MOLE ClinicMoles can change over your lifetime, and can become darker, lighter, larger, fade or disappear completely. However, this should never be drastic or in a short space of time. If this does happen do seek advice from skin cancer specialist. headtopics.com
Your mole has... an uneven borderThe MOLE ClinicIf your mole has an uneven border this can be a sign of change, and again this needs to be assessed by a skin cancer specialist.Your mole has... hair growing out of itRexOur body is covered in hair, many moles will have hair growing out of them and this is therefore not an indicator that it's either a benign or a cancerous mole.
And it's not always about the way a mole looks that might be an indication it's cancerous, you should also pay attention to the way it feels:Your mole is... itchy or soreLarge intradermal moles may catch on items of clothing which can cause them to be itchy or sore. However, if you have an itchy more or a sore mole you must seek advice from a skin cancer specialist.
If you're concerned about a changing or growing mole, or anything else, make sure to book in a visit to the GP. Read more: Cosmopolitan UK »
COVID live: WHO says new mutation 'a variant of concern' as EU imposes restrictions on seven African countries
Coronavirus latest as a new variant is identified in South Africa; Britain adds six countries to the red list from today; Grant Shapps says the government is taking a 'safety first' approach; Welsh rugby teams on tour in South Africa race to return.
'I was born with just one boob – but now I love my body'Born with one boob, Becca tells how she was diagnosed, why she turned down a boob job and how she built an online community of women with Poland Syndrome.
German industry boss issues UK with seething Brexit ultimatum - 'No ifs, no buts!'BRITAIN has been ordered to adhere to the terms of its Brexit deal with the EU by a German industry leader who suggested Boris Johnson 'cannot refuse' to act in accordance with the Northern Ireland Protocol. But Sovereignty...
School cancels Halloween parade because event ‘marginalises people of colour’Costume parties could become uncomfortable for some students and distract them from learning, school tells parents GOOD DECISION 🙂 Just stupid! This is not tolerance and equality. This is a sick political correctness. This can lead only to greater division and anger. White people are told that they need 'diversity' but no such demand is made of another race. WhiteGenocide
Spectator who caused Tour de France pile-up goes on trialWoman tells prosecutors she feels ashamed of her ‘stupidity’ after obstructing cyclists during race in June
Covid test lab in Wolverhampton suspended over wrong resultsAround 43,000 people may have been wrongly told their test for Covid-19 was negative. How One NHS Anesthetist Is Fighting International Medical Research Fraud Ok I believe you . I’m just going to feed my dodo and take my mammoth for a walk . Stop taking shite 😂😂😂 RTErdogan FreeFredLumbuye FreeAllPoliticalPrisonersinUganda UgandaIsBleeding
Screeching U-turn over haulier rules 'not going to make a massive difference'Some in the logistics industry think waiving cabotage regulations will only make a marginal impact on the supply crisis - while the main effect will be to disadvantage British operators. 😂 😂 Well done thick Leave voters 👍