It has been reported that researchers are now able to tell if a mole is about turn malignant by looking at its genetic changes. They have reported that sun should be avoided on moles because the Ultraviolet radiation causes genetic mutations that can turn a mole into melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Benign moles are caused by genetic mutations that are not dangerous but melanomas have additional genetic mutations that build over time that make them hazardous. What that means is that a mole starts out as a simple growth but can progress to cancer. People with a higher number of moles are more likely to develop melanoma. In most cases melanomas are caused by sunlight. Not all moles will mutate into cancer but avoiding the sun, using SPF when in the sun and getting your moles checked by a dermatologist on a regular basis are all preventative measure you can take to safeguard yourself.
If you have a mole that concerns you, the ABCDEs of Melanoma may be a helpful way to gauge your risk.
A: Asymmetry, one half of the mole is unlike the other half
B: Border, irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C: Color, varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
D: Diameter, while melanomas are usually great than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller.
E: Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
Brought to you by American Academy of Dermatology.
For a step by step guide on how to give yourself a skin cancer self-examination at home or if you would like additional information on spotting skin cancer visit https://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer.
To make appointment at DeSpain Cayce Dermatology Center with one of our physicians for a skin examination please call 573-234-1000.
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