You may have lived with a mole for quite some time and think that it is completely harmless. The reality is that skin cancer moles often do not always announce their presence, however there are some symptoms which are certainly a cause for concern. The best thing you can do is find out what these symptoms are. If you notice any of them, you should arrange a skin check appointment and see a specialist as soon as possible.
The change of the colour of a mole is certainly a sign that something is wrong, even though the problem may not necessarily be skin cancer. If the skin growth becomes paler or darker or if gets new and different colours in addition to the original one, you should certainly have it checked.
Changes in size are common for cancerous moles. The growth on the skin can become bigger, but it may become smaller as well. Both changes are a cause for concern. One important thing to note is that the dangerous moles typically grow unevenly. For instance, they can grow on one side only.
Changes in the shape, texture or height of moles may be signs of trouble also. A mole that is asymmetric and/or has uneven edges can be dangerous. The normal growths are typically smooth and you cannot feel them when you go over your skin with your finger. The dangerous, skin cancer type, on the other hand, are often raised. They may feel bumpy and/or rough.
Above: You can use the ABCDE rule to help identify moles of concern, but by far the surest way of detecting skin cancer is to have regular screenings
Some cancerous moles become dry and scaly. You may notice bits and pieces that come off. Go have such a suspicious growth checked for to prevent possible skin cancer from spreading.
The cancerous growths can become harder as well. This is fairly easy to notice when you touch a mole. In some cases, they become lumpy. Again, you should be able to feel a lump even if you cannot see it. The lump does not have to be big in order for the growth to be dangerous.
A mole that becomes itchy all of a sudden should certainly raise red flags. It is important for you to resist the temptation and not to scratch it as this may worsen the problem. Just seek for a specialist as soon as possible to assess for skin cancer. Cancerous moles often start oozing or bleeding at one point in time. These are actually the symptoms which almost always cause patients to seek medical help.
What to do
2 out of 3 New Zealanders will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Do not wait for the signs and symptoms to manifest themselves. Get regular skin cancer checks.
If you are a current MoleMap customer, you are entitled to free spot check appointments within 12 months of your Full-Body MoleMap appointment. So do not hesitate in contact us should you become worried about a mole.
You can also determine your risk now with our Risk Quiz. It only takes a minute.
Book with MoleMap today.