How long should you wait to get a mole checked?

Everyone should check their moles, at least every 3 months. But if you have developed new moles, or a close relative has a history of melanoma, you should examine your body once a month.

When should I see a doctor about a mole?

When an old mole changes, or when a new mole appears in adulthood, you should see a doctor to check it out. If your mole is itching, bleeding, oozing, or painful, see a doctor right away. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer, but new moles or spots may also be basal cell or squamous cell cancers.

Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?

A visual check of your skin only finds moles that may be cancer. It can’t tell you for sure that you have it. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a test called a biopsy.

How do you know if a mole is worrisome?

Identifying worrisome moles

  1. Asymmetry: One half doesn’t mirror the other.
  2. Border: Irregular, uneven, or rough borders.
  3. Color: Appears to have a combination of colors.
  4. Diameter: Larger than a pencil eraser.
  5. Evolution: Signs of change in size, color, or shape.

How quickly does melanoma spread?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.

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Do you get more moles as you age?

Some People Are More Prone to Moles than Others

You tend to acquire more as you get older. New moles after the age of 25 are somewhat concerning. If you get a lot of new dark, changing moles they may be cancerous so be attentive to new moles and make an appointment with your provider if you think it may be cancer.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

What does a cancerous mole feel like?

Also, when melanoma develops in an existing mole, the texture of the mole may change and become hard or lumpy. The skin lesion may feel different and may itch, ooze, or bleed, but a melanoma skin lesion usually does not cause pain.

What does Stage 1 melanoma mean?

In Stage I melanoma, the cancer cells are in both the first and second layers of the skin—the epidermis and the dermis. A melanoma tumor is considered Stage I if it is up to 2 mm thick, and it may or may not have ulceration. There is no evidence the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or distant sites (metastasis).

Can a mole grow and not be cancerous?

Most moles are benign. This means they are harmless and do not cause cancer. However, sometimes they grow and become malignant. This means they are cancerous and must be removed.

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