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Skin Cancer Moles


Skin cancer can be mainly divided into two categories - malignant melanoma (cancer which is usually found in moles) and non- melanoma (squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma). Malignant melanoma usually starts in the existing moles on the body. This is a type of skin cancer which begins in the pigmentation system of the skin that is in the melanocytes. Melanocytes are a type of skin cells present in the top layer of the skin which produces the pigment melanin which gives skin its normal color. Malignant melanoma or skin cancer in the moles is considered as a severe form of skin cancer and its recovery depends entirely on early discovery and treatment.


Moles and Skin Cancer
A normal mole is usually solid and has an even tan, brown, black or flesh color. It should also be well defined especially on the edges and flat or dome shaped. The shape should be round or oval and the size should be approximately ¼ inch in diameter. Most of the moles are benign and require no treatment; however some of these benign moles can develop into melanoma moles or skin cancer moles.


To identify a melanoma mole careful examination should be made and any changes in the color, shape, size or texture should be reported to a specialist. Almost all the moles appear by the age of 30, so also check for sudden appearance of any new mole. Certain changes in the existing moles are normal because moles can many times respond to some hormonal changes. But it is important to know the ABCDE’s of a skin cancer mole.

  • A for asymmetry – When a mole is divided into two halves then both sides are not same.
  • B for border – Existing moles has developed a jagged or blurred border.
  • C for color – Any change in the color of the existing mole that includes spread of the color, darkening of the color, loss of color, or a multi colored appearance on the moles with shades of red, pink, purple, blue, grey or white color.
  • D for diameter – Sudden change in the size of a mole. A normal mole is about 6 mm to 50 mm in size. A mole that is larger than ¼ inch in diameter should be checked by a specialist.
  • E for elevation – Any uneven surface on the existing mole or a mole that is rising from the skin surface.

Other signs for skin cancer moles include bleeding, scarring, itching, fast growing mole, scaly or clustered growth on the skin and a sore mole which takes very long time to heal. Any changes in the existing mole or appearance of any new abnormal mole should be brought to the notice of your specialist for early detection and treatment of skin cancer.

Submitted on January 16, 2014