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The vast majority of moles are harmless growths on the skin that are caused by the proliferation of melanocytes or melanin cells that are responsible for giving our skin the pigmentation that it has. Sometimes, however, moles can be cancerous or precancerous. Cancerous moles are called melanoma and they must be removed by a dermatologist. It’s important that if you think you might have a mole that’s cancerous or precancerous, that you contact a dermatologist to make that determination as general practitioners tend not to be well versed in the issue, and a biopsy will need to be performed anyway. Nonetheless, if you’re concerned, there’s a number of steps you can take to help either ease your mind, or get the treatment you need right away.

#1. Tracking the Progression of a Mole

The best way to track the progression of a mole is by using your phone to take daily pictures of it. It will be much easier for you to see changes in coloration, size, or shape, which are all prime indicators that a mole is cancerous. The changes will likely be much too subtle to see simply by looking in the mirror, and the mind and memory can play tricks on us as far making such comparisons go. It’s also a good idea to be able to show your doctor the progression of the mole’s changes if and when you schedule an appointment.

#2. Warning Signs for Cancerous Moles

The following symptoms will indicate the possibility that a mole is cancerous or precancerous:

* If the mole is changing shape, size, or color, it should be looked at by a dermatologist.



* Moles that are asymmetrical have a higher tendency to be cancerous or precancerous.

* Moles with fuzzy edges have a higher tendency to be cancerous or precancerous

* If the mole looks like it’s article becoming darker, it could be cancerous.

* If the mole is not uniform in color, it could be cancerous.

* If the mole is painful, bleeding, or itchy it could be cancerous.

* If the mole is becoming more elevated it could be a sign of cancer.

* If the mole is greater than 6 mm in diameter, it could be cancerous.

#3. When to See a Doctor

In order to determine if a mole is cancerous or not a dermatologist will perform a biopsy on the tissue. If the dermatologist sees signs of cancer, then the mole must be removed in its entirely.

“Skin treatments for moles generally involve the removal of tissue, but click this link there’s a number of ways that we can do that,” says one Fort Collins dermatologist. “For cancerous moles we need to go in there and remove all of the tissue, which generally means removing some of the healthy tissue that surrounds the mole just in case. This will sometimes require stitches and have scarring, but it’s imperative we get all the cancerous cells.”

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