A benign mole can sometimes develop into skin cancer. Skin cancer arising from a benign mole is malignant melanoma, which is a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can be fatal if not treated early.
Can a benign mole change?
Changes in benign moles
Environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight, and hormonal changes such as going through puberty or pregnancy can cause moles to darken or develop. Therefore, the appearance of moles can change over time. They can change in number and appearance and can also fade away.
Is a benign mole cancerous?
Most people have some skin marks, such as freckles and moles. These may multiply or darken over time. Benign means they are not cancer.
Can normal moles become cancerous?
Yes, but a common mole rarely turns into melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer. Although common moles are not cancerous, people who have more than 50 common moles have an increased chance of developing melanoma (1).
How can you tell if a mole is benign or malignant?
Borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have more smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
Is a new mole something to worry about?
Almost all moles are benign (noncancerous). But new moles in an adult are more likely to become cancerous than old moles. If a new mole appears when you’re older, or if a mole changes in appearance, you should see a dermatologist to make sure it’s not cancerous.
What does early stage melanoma look like?
Early warning signs of melanoma
Asymmetry: The mole has an irregular shape. Border: The edge is not smooth, but irregular or notched. Color: The mole has uneven shading or dark spots. Diameter: The spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
Should I be worried about a precancerous mole?
If there is concern that a skin lesion is precancerous, a doctor should take a look at it. In some cases, the lesion may need to be biopsied and placed under a microscope for more information. Special stains can be used to try and differentiate a mole from a skin lesion.
How long does melanoma take to spread?
Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six 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.
Does a changing mole always mean cancer?
Are these changes in moles always a sign of skin cancer? No, changing moles do not always equate to skin cancer and most moles are usually harmless. It can be normal for moles to change in number and appearance; some can also disappear over time.
How does Melanoma make you feel?
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 do cancerous moles look?
Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
What causes a mole to turn into melanoma?
It’s likely that a combination of factors, including environmental and genetic factors, causes melanoma. Still, doctors believe exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and from tanning lamps and beds is the leading cause of melanoma.
Can moles change and be harmless?
This is normal and harmless. Any significant change in size in an adult however may be important. 2. Change in outline or shape: most innocent moles are regular in outline and round or oval.
Do moles get bigger with age?
While moles may increase in size, particularly before the age of 20, regular moles are unlikely to enlarge as people get older. A mole that has increased in size is not necessarily cancerous.
What happens if you pick a mole off?
Cutting off any growth increases your risk of infection, especially if the tool you use isn’t properly sanitized. You can also create a permanent scar where the mole once was. Another risk of removing a mole yourself is that you can’t tell if a mole is cancerous. A mole could be melanoma.