If you have a mole that concerns you, your family doctor can usually let you know if it’s normal or needs further investigation. He or she may then refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) for diagnosis and treatment. It’s a good idea to arrive for your appointment well-prepared.
Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?
Unfortunately, you can’t tell by looking at a mole whether it’s cancerous or what type it is. It could very well be a normal skin spot with an abnormal appearance. A dermatologist can’t always tell the difference either.
When should I see a doctor about a suspicious mole?
If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.
What do you do if you have a suspicious mole?
If you have an abnormal mole, you may need to have it removed. Removing a suspicious mole and examining it for cancer cells is an important step in catching melanoma early, when it’s easiest to treat. During a skin cancer screening exam your dermatologist may find an abnormal mole.
WHO removes suspicious moles?
Surgical excision: The dermatologist cuts out the entire mole and stitches the skin closed if necessary. Surgical shave: The dermatologist uses a surgical blade to remove the mole.
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.
How long does it take for melanoma to 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.
Can I send a picture of a mole to a doctor?
You can capture photos of suspicious moles or marks and track them yourself, or send them off to a dermatologist for assessment.
Can a pharmacist check a mole?
If you have concerns regarding a mole or lesion on your body, you should have this checked. You should either see your GP, or you can simply visit a local pharmacy delivering the mole scanning service in partnership with ScreenCancer. In the pharmacy you will be asked to complete a consent form with some personal data.
Are suspicious moles always cancerous?
“Although the vast majority of suspicious-looking skin moles do not turn out to be cancerous melanomas, once a decision has been made to remove a mole, there should be a clearer standard margin,” says senior study investigator and dermatologist David Polsky, MD, PhD.
What do non cancerous moles look like?
While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear. D is for Diameter and Dark.
What does suspicious moles look like?
Border that is irregular: The edges of suspicious moles are ragged, notched or blurred in outline, while healthy moles tend to have more even borders. The pigment of the mole may also spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: The mole may have various colors present, including black, brown and tan.
How do doctors know if melanoma has spread?
For people with more-advanced melanomas, doctors may recommend imaging tests to look for signs that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. Imaging tests may include X-rays, CT scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
How much does it cost to have a mole removed by a dermatologist?
Typical costs: Removal of a mole typically costs about $150 to $400. It varies from doctor to doctor and by which technique is used.
Will a doctor remove a mole?
A specialist skin doctor (consultant dermatologist) usually does the operation. Or you might see a plastic surgeon who is experienced in melanoma. You lie down on the treatment couch. Your specialist injects some local anaesthetic into the area around the mole.