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Is your mole cancerous?

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Is your mole cancerous?

Is your mole cancerous?
October 05
20:32 2018

Skin cancer is usually divided into two types: melanoma and non-melanoma.

Non-melanoma refers to a group of cancers that slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin. It is more common than melanoma.

The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or discoloured patch on the skin, which is the tumour.

Melanoma skin cancer, meanwhile, can be more serious than non-melanoma as it can spread to other organs in the body.

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.

This can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the back in men and the legs in women.

Melanomas are uncommon in areas which are protected from sun exposure, such as the buttocks and the scalp.

In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and are more than one colour. The mole may also be larger than normal and can sometimes be itchy or bleed.

Normal moles, meanwhile, are usually round or oval, with a smooth edge, and are no bigger than 6mm in diameter.

Signs to look out for in moles include if they get bigger, change shape, change colour, bleed or become crusty, or become itchy or sore.

If you are concerned about a mole, the ABCDE checklist can help identify the difference between cancerous and non-cancerous moles.

A – Asymmetrical

Melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.

B – Border

Melanomas have a notched or ragged border.

C – Colours

Melanomas have a mix of two or more colours.

D – Diameter

Melanomas are larger than 6mm, or a quarter of an inch, in diameter.

E – Enlargement or elevation

Moles that change in size over time are more likely to be melanomas.

“See your GP as soon as possible if you notice changes in a mole, freckle or patch of skin, particularly if the changes happen over a few weeks or months,” advised the NHS.

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