Can moles be irregular and not cancerous?
Also called dysplastic moles, atypical moles may be genetic or caused by damage from sun exposure. About 1 in 10 people develop atypical moles during their lifetime. These moles are not cancerous, and need not be removed if they are not changing.
Can an irregular mole be benign?
Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking moles that have irregular features under the microscope. Though benign, they are worth more of your attention because individuals with atypical moles are at increased risk for melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer.
Why is my mole uneven?
Blurred, jagged, or irregular borders are a sign that the mole could be cancerous. If the edges of your mole are uneven, it is good to have it checked out by a doctor. The image on the left shows a mole with defined borders while the mole image on the right has irregular and uneven borders.
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.
How can you tell if a mole is benign or malignant?
Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma
- Asymmetry: the sides of the mole or growth don’t match.
- Border: the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
- Color: the color within the mole or growth varies.
- Diameter: the mole or growth is larger than 6 millimeters (size of a pencil eraser).
Can melanoma be symmetrical?
Most melanomas are asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves don’t match, so it looks different from a round to oval and symmetrical common mole.
How quickly can a mole turn cancerous?
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.
Are all moles that grow 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).