Every month or so everyone should have a mole check or mole screening performed, especially if they or people in their family have moles. When a person gets into the habit of a regular body check for suspicious moles they’ll be able to tell if a mole has changed appearance, or if there’s a new mole that looks abnormal. If a person does find a mole that doesn’t look right to them they should see a dermatologist. An examination or a biopsy will tell if it’s still benign and not a skin cancer like melanoma or basal cell carcinoma. If it’s malignant, early detection and treatment will almost always lead to a cure.
Telltale signs that a mole might be malignant are that it’s asymmetrical, with blurry, frayed looking, ill-defined edges. The mole might not be one color but several different colors, including red, brown, black, or even blue. It’s usually large, though not always and seems to be changing. Some cancers appear as lumps that are smooth, waxy, or pearly. Some cancerous moles have a crust, or they go through cycles of healing and bleeding. As bad as some of these lesions look, they’re generally not painful.
Frequent Body Checks and Mole Screenings are Important
Another reason for a body check is that some skin cancers appear even in places that aren’t exposed to the sun, like the genitals. The best time to do a check is after a shower or bath. The examination should be done in a well-lighted room, ideally in front of full-length mirror and with a handheld mirror. Sometimes people have friends check their back or other areas that are hard to see. People should even check their scalp and the soles of their feet. A certified dermatologist should look at any new, worrisome skin changes.
Mole Screenings Bring Peace of Mind
Some dermatologists believe that if every strange mole or lesion were investigated by a doctor right after the patient discovered it, the cure rate forskin cancer would be nearly 100 percent. Most moles, fortunately, are benign. However, the guidance and expertise of a dermatologist can help bring you peace of mind.
Reducing your exposure to sunlight and using sunscreens can minimize skin cancer risks. However, just as effective is undergoing regular mole screenings and body checks
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