Small brown spots and growths on the skin are quite common. They may be flat or elevated and usually have round and regular shape. In most cases they are caused by sun exposure. Of course, as you have already realized, we are talking about moles. A vast majority of them is not dangerous, but some may become malignant. Cancerous moles symptoms can be simply remembered as ABCDE acronym. Cancerous moles treatment usually includes two options: laser mole removal or surgery (surgical excision or surgical shave). More detailed information about types of moles, signs and symptoms of cancerous moles, as well as cancerous moles treatment options is be presented below.
As we grow older, new moles can be seen and it is normal for the moles to grow larger and become darker during sun exposure. Sometimes, the moles may become lighter. Pregnant women may also notice that their moles become larger and darker.
A harmless mole is symmetrical and has a uniform colour. These moles do not require removal, as they do not pose any threat. However, they can be removed for cosmetic reasons and cultural beliefs (fengshui).
ARE MOLES ON SKIN DANGEROUS?
Most moles are harmless. However, they may become cancerous. If you notice changes in your mole, that is when you should get it examined by a dermatologist to confirm that it is not melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can rise from moles.
CANCEROUS MOLES SYMPTOMS
There are a number of characteristics that you should look out for when identifying a cancerous mole:
- Irregular border
- Includes more than one colour
- Larger than 6mm in diameter
- Itches or burns
- Oozes or bleeds
CANCEROUS MOLES TREATMENT OPTIONS
Both surgery and laser are options that can be considered to remove moles. If your dermatologist is sure that your moles are benign, laser will be used to remove them. If there is a suspicion of an atypical mole, then surgery is required to remove the mole and it will be sent for a lab test.
- Surgical excision: During the procedure, your surgeon will numb the area to be operated and proceed to cut out the mole and a surrounding margin of healthy skin. This will be done with a scalpel or a sharp punch device. Once that’s done, the wound will be closed with sutures.
- Surgical shave: During the procedure, your surgeon will numb the area to be operated and will proceed to use a small blade to cut around and beneath the mole. This option is suitable for small moles and does not require sutures.
- Physical examination and consultation with the doctor: The first step is to have a dermatologist reivew your suspected mole.
Your doctor will take a tissue sample of your mole to be tested if he/she suspects that it may be cancerous.