When Should I See My Doctor About A Mole?
It’s common to have moles, and in most cases, they’re probably benign (non-cancerous). But, moles can quickly evolve or turn cancerous if we’re not diligent. The good news is when caught early-on, skin cancer has a very high cure rate. It’s important to know the warning signs to prevent yourself from becoming another statistic.
At-home skin cancer checks are recommended on a quarterly basis for most patients (more if you’re ‘at risk’). Follow the ABCDE rule and schedule a skin cancer check with your dermatologist immediately if your mole matches any of the following symptoms.
Asymmetrical moles can be a warning sign for potential melanoma. When examining a mole, draw an imaginary line through the center. If the mole doesn’t match up on either side, you may want to get it checked out.
Most benign moles will have a smooth, even border. If the edges of your mole are blurred, scalloped, or notched, it might be time to schedule a skin cancer screening.
In most cases, non-cancerous moles are a single color (typically a shade of brown). You should see a doctor if the mole in question is patchy or has various shades. Moles that become red, white, or blue will need to be checked immediately.
Melanomas are usually larger in size than a typical mole. However, they can start out small initially. If you notice a mole rapidly growing in size, you should definitely have it looked at. Most benign moles will be less than 1/4 inch in size (6mm).
While all the other warning signs are important, you shouldn’t hesitate to have moles that are evolving checked out. Most benign moles will stay the same shape, size, and color throughout your lifetime, so be on alert if any mole begins to change. Moles should not be painful, itchy, or bleed.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Our expert dermatologists provide a warm, welcoming environment for patients worried about their skin cancer diagnosis. In the case that skin cancer is detected, we have a variety of safe and effective treatment options.
Depending on the location, size, and type of cancer, your dermatologist may employ the help of;
- Liquid Nitrogen Destruction
- Mohs Surgery
Remember, when detected and removed early, skin cancer is easily treatable. Schedule an appointment with your doctor right away if you see anything suspicious.
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Take the Next Step
To learn more about Skin Cancer Checks, or to schedule your consultation at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, serving the Philadelphia metro area, including The Main Line, Chestnut Hill, Blue Bell, Gwynedd, and Flourtown, please fill out the form on this page or call 610.828.0400.