Top
10
Doctor insights on: How Can I Tell If An Existing Mole Is Melanoma

Share
1

1
How can I tell if an existing mole is melanoma?

How can I tell if an existing mole is melanoma?

See a dermatologist: Definitely seek the opinion of your dermatologist. There are many mimics of melanoma. Luckily most existing moles do not evolve into melanoma. That said, most dermatologists will biopsy moles that have changed. "change" can mean it's color, size, shape, symptoms of itchiness, or even history of bleeding. ...Read more

See 2 more doctor answers
Dr. Mike Bowman
906 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common are: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use & ...Read more


5

5
What percent of melanoma starts in an existing mole versus brand new spots? Thanks

25%: Precise answer unknown. We do not remove melanocytic nevi (moles) to prevent melanoma. We remove them when they show features suspicious of early melanoma. The microscopic exam is the way to best define them. You take "omega 3 fats" (fish oil). The latest studies indicate that this is no benefit. You take aspirin. There is some evidence that this reduces the risk of skin cancers, including melanom ...Read more

6

6
Worried about a mole on my arm, it may be melanoma. How to tell?

Worried about a mole on my arm, it may be melanoma. How to tell?

See a Dermatologist: Dermatologists are specialists on all types of skin conditions and can evaluate the mole on your arm. They can let you know if the lesion needs to be biopsied to see if it is, or is not, a melanoma. ...Read more

7

7
Heard most melanomas start from a pre existing mole. So is it a good idea to have all moles surgically removed to prevent this? Or impractical?

Heard most melanomas start from a pre existing mole. So is it a good idea to have all moles surgically removed to prevent this? Or impractical?

MOLES: YES YOU HEARD CORRECTLY MOLES CAN PROGRESS INTO MELANOMAS, DEPENDING ON HOW MANY YOU HAVE WILL DICTATE PRACTICAL OR IMPRACTICAL. ...Read more

8

8
Can dermatologists tell the difference between a normal mole and nodular melanoma?

Can dermatologists tell the difference between a normal mole and nodular melanoma?

Yes: There is a big difference between a normal mole and melanoma. We look at the characteristics of the lesion abcde (asymmetry, borders, color, diameter, evolving) and biopsy any suspicious moles in question. The biopsy would confirm which is which. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
9

9
If moles are full of melanin, does that mean an existing mole if exposed to uv radiation won't turn to melanoma?

No, risk remains: 'moles' on the skin are nevi, essentially benign but abnormal collections or growths of melanocytes in the dermis (the layer just under the epidermis) and sometimes also in the epidermis. Uv light damages the dna in cells and when it does so in melanocytes in nevi they may be transformed into melanomas. The pigment does not protect the cells. ...Read more

10

10
8mth ago 2-3mm mole accident scraped off. Now just scar no mole pigment. What if this was a melanoma. Dr no biopsy coz can't tell where mole was?

8mth  ago 2-3mm mole accident scraped off.  Now just scar no mole pigment.  What if this was a melanoma.   Dr no biopsy coz can't tell where mole was?

Do not worry: If the mole was something bad, it would have come back by now, especially that it was not properly excised. Given the size of this mole, it was most likely benign. ...Read more

See 2 more doctor answers
Dr. Coyle Connolly
1,062 doctors shared insights

Moles (Definition)

A mole (also called a nevus) is a localized overgrowth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) in the skin. Most moles are benign. However, these cells can become cancerous. This is known as melanoma, ...Read more


Dr. Travis Kidner
2,580 doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Melanoma is a cancer of the melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells determine the color of your skin. Although these cells are primarily found in your skin, they can also be found in the bowel ...Read more