Cancerous Moles Diagnosis, Prevention and More

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By shirley
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Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Melanoma.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Mar. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20374884
  • 2. NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/symptoms/
  • 3. 'Common Moles, Dysplastic Nevi, and Risk of Melanoma.' National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov/types/skin/moles-fact-sheet
  • 4. Admin. 'Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer.' Rogel Cancer Center | University of Michigan, 19 Oct. 2020, www.rogelcancercenter.org/skin-cancer/basal-and-squamous
  • 5. 'Melanoma.' The Skin Cancer Foundation, 21 Jan. 2021, www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/
  • 6. 'Skin Cancer.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Dec. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20377605
  • 7. 'Skin Cancer.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Dec. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377608
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Moles commonly begin appearing on the skin during childhood, and by the time a person reaches adulthood, they may have between 10 and 40 moles. Usually round or oval with smooth edges, moles are normally less than 1/4-inch in diameter. They have a uniform brown, tan or black color and may appear anywhere on the body.

While most moles aren't causes for concern, the appearance of a new mole or the change in an existing mole's color, shape or size may be a sign of a cancerous mole. Because some forms of skin cancer are serious, early detection and treatment are critical.1‘Melanoma.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Mar. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20374884,2NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/melanoma-skin-cancer/symptoms/

Common Moles

A common mole, also known as a nevus, occurs when pigment cells grow in clusters. This type of mole typically develops on areas of skin above the waist that may receive frequent sun exposure. People with darker skin or hair colors may have moles that are darker than those found on people with lighter skin or hair colors.

Common moles are sometimes present at birth but they typically begin appearing in childhood and may continue to develop until age 40. Sometimes, common moles fade away as people age. Common moles rarely develop into melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Moles

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