A body of a human is made of up thousands of cells. Everyday, there is a never-ending change in cell structures. However these changes are occurring in normal manner. But when the change in the structure is abnormal and there is a visible growth of malevolent cells, it is often referred to by doctors as cancerous.
But any growth on the skin or an appearance of a mole is not always a skin cancer. To know if a mole is possible to become a skin cancer, there is a need of proper laboratory examination to the cells of the mole (biopsy).
A Sort of Review
One common part of our skin is mole. Statistics showed that few people are born having moles in their body and only one percent of newborns are acquiring it. The appearance of new moles is commonly occurring during puberty stage and slows after that period.
Moles came from melanocytes and these are forms of benign tumors. Melanocytes are skin cells that are responsible in the brown pigmentation in the epidermis. There is still no clear evidence revealed why melanocytes develop into moles but it is seemed to be because of sun exposure and genetic heredity. The appearances of moles are not usually the same as other moles. Normal moles are known to have various colors; red, brown, flesh, black and blue. They can as well be round, flat, oval or irregular in shape. These moles can also have an uneven distribution on the skin.
- having well-demarcated borders
Factors Affecting the Size
- Sun Exposure
Following are few points to know if a mole is a skin cancer or not.
1. Shape and size of the mole
Most of the moles are symmetrical, and are either round or oval in shape. Since the edges are round we can fold one side to the other half. If the mole is not round or oval and is asymmetrical then the cells inside could be malignant. It requires a proper medical examination.
2. Growth of the mole
If the mole seems to grow abnormally, then this could be an indication that the mole is cancerous. Commonly, a mole could not be considered as cancerous if it does not show any changes on its structures. However, if you suspect that it has the potential to grow oddly, you can ask for health expert’s advice.
3. Children with Moles
It is most important to consider if the children has more than 1 hundred moles from their birth. This over appearance of moles is likely a sign of malignancy. If this case happens, better seek for a medical attention immediately in order to be aware about your current health condition. Birth marks obtained since birth should not be unspecified as a sign of skin cancer.
When you notice new appearance of new moles or even changes in size of moles in the body, one might need to consult a skin expert. The mole should not be eradicated when there is no enough reason why should be done so. People having moles that are always exposed should be careful about direct ultraviolet rays from the sun.
There are some moles that turns into skin cancer particularly melanoma. The abnormal appearances of moles are called Dysplastic Nevi. These are moles having a higher risk of turning into melanoma (cancer). Therefore it is vital to know how to do self-examination in order to identify if you are positive with this kind of mole.
Instruction on How to Identify a Cancerous Mole
- It is always necessary to monitor your moles. You must examine your skin daily if there are newly formed moles or any changes on the existing moles. Use a mirror daily and try to check your back, front and under your arms. One of the most invasive and dangerous skin cancers is melanoma. It can actually appear anywhere on the body even under the fingernails. Having many moles since birth can actually increase your risk of having melanoma or skin cancer and if this happens, it could be better if you see a dermatologist as early as possible. A sign that a mole is likely to become a skin cancer is asymmetry. You may look at each half of the mole and notice if there are changes as time goes by. If the moles tend to appear uneven, you must have it examined.
- Another thing to do is to inspect whether the mole has a solid border. One indication that a mole is a cancer if the border that is not well-defined. Moles that bleed, itch and painful may also indicate that the mole is cancerous.
- In addition, a mole is cancerous if the color seems unusual or do not have a uniform color.
- Also, inspect the mole’s diameter. Always check for moles that seem to increase in size. Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser must seek medical attention.
- Lastly, better see a doctor for skin testing and biopsy. This is one way to determine if the mole is malignant or not.
Symptoms of a Skin Cancer
Most common symptoms are if a mole is malignant or not are:
- A change on its growth and appearance.
- A new growth found on the skin where mole is found.
- A sore on the mole that does not mend.
Not all skin changes must be considered as symptoms of cancer. There are moles that are growing harmless and need not to be removed. Moles that are irritated by clothing and are unattractive can be eliminated. Normally, an average person has many moles and some of these skin growths are benign. Birthmarks on the other hand are skin patches that are normally appearing since birth. Moreover, acquired moles are normally beginning to develop early in adolescence period; moles are growing and darkening through that stage. In addition, there are adults that acquire moles ranging from 40 to 60.
Solar lentigines or liver spots are flat spots naturally occurring on the face, hands, neck and forearms. They usually develop because of sun exposure and aging and it has nothing to do about the liver. Furthermore, another skin spots are the Seborrheic keratosis. These are wart-like, raised, brown growths on the skin that normally appear as a person age.
Likewise, the acquired cherry angiomas are dome-shaped, smooth red spots that are usually developing on the chest and back. Most of them appear bright red and appear as a person gets older.