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.
Can a general practitioner look at a mole?
Your doctor can identify moles by looking at your skin. You may choose to make a skin examination a regular part of your preventive medical care. Talk to your doctor about a schedule that’s appropriate for you. During a skin exam, your doctor inspects your skin from head to toe.
Can a GP diagnose melanoma?
Initial investigation and referral
Your general practitioner (GP) will examine any suspicious, changing or rapidly growing spots or moles and may use a magnifying instrument called a dermoscope to see them more clearly.
How do I know if my NHS mole is cancerous?
Diameter – most melanomas are usually larger than 6mm in diameter. Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.
Signs to look out for include a mole that’s:
- getting bigger.
- changing shape.
- changing colour.
- bleeding or becoming crusty.
- itchy or sore.
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.
Can you have stage 4 melanoma and not know it?
When stage 4 melanoma is diagnosed after a scan, there may be no symptoms at all, and it can be difficult to believe the cancer has spread. However, people with stage 4 melanoma may have a very wide range of symptoms. People who have melanoma diagnosed in the brain are told not to drive.
When should I see a GP about a mole?
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you notice a change in a mole
- changes shape or looks uneven.
- changes colour, gets darker or has more than 2 colours.
- starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding.
- gets larger or more raised from the skin.
Can a regular doctor do a mole biopsy?
Non-cancerous moles do not always have to be removed, but some people prefer to have their moles removed regardless of whether they are cancerous or could develop into cancer. Removing non-cancerous moles can sometimes be done by your primary care doctor.
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 GP biopsy a mole?
An excision biopsy is a quick and simple procedure that can be done by your GP, dermatologist or a surgeon. You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area. Then your doctor will use a scalpel to remove the mole and some surrounding tissue. The wound will probably be closed with a couple stitches.
Can a GP remove a melanoma?
If melanoma is suspected, you should have an excisional biopsy. This will either be done by your GP or they will refer you to a dermatologist or surgeon.
Can a GP do a biopsy?
The main test to diagnose skin cancer is to take a sample (biopsy) of the area. You need to go to your GP if you are worried about an abnormal area of skin. Your GP might refer you to a specialist if they think you have skin cancer. Or they might do a biopsy themselves if they have had the specialist training.