Could your mole be dangerous?

Are you worried about a mole or new growth on your skin? In this article we discuss the most common signs of skin cancer and how you can assess a mole or growth on your skin.

As we age our skin tends to develop new marks. While many of these blemishes can be completely harmless and superficial, it is wise to treat new occurrences with vigilance and scrutiny in case they indicate a dangerous condition such as skin cancer.

While skin cancers start out small, they can go through unpredictable phases of quick growth and in some cases the cancerous cells can metastasize (spread throughout the body), spreading the danger to your internal organs and becoming much harder to treat. This is why early detection is paramount, even if the cancer is small.

Here are some signs to look out for when examining your mole for signs of skin cancer:

1. Color – Most moles are black in color, while some of them may have a lighter shade too. However, if a mole has more than one color you need to treat it with suspicion and approach a doctor immediately.

2. Size – An abnormally large mole is a worrying sign. While there is no particular guideline about this, a mole or growth on the skin should not grow larger than a quarter of an inch, and if it is growing in size this could be reason for concern.

3. Orientation – Once again, this is more of an approximation than a rule, but if the mole is raised too much above the skin surface, it should be a matter of concern to you. Likewise, it should not be too tilted onto any one side.

4. Edges – The edges should normally be smooth and regular just like the skin. If you think that the edges are jagged and uneven, get in touch with your doctor immediately.

5. Symmetry – The mole or growth should look the same on its left and right halves. If it has a different shape in its two halves, it can be a cause for concern may be a very likely sign of skin cancer.

Place yourself in a well-lit area and take the time to examine your mole thoroughly. If it shows any, or a combination of the above symptoms it is advisable to seek the advise of a medical practitioner sooner rather than later.