Home Life Style Doctors reveal five major ‘red flags’ that indicate a potentially cancerous skin mole

Doctors reveal five major ‘red flags’ that indicate a potentially cancerous skin mole

0 comment
 Doctors Reveal Five Major ‘Red Flags’ That Indicate a Potentially Cancerous Skin Mole

According to dermatologists, throughout our lives, we typically develop between 10 and 40 moles in various outlandish shapes and sizes. However, distinguishing harmless moles from potentially dangerous ones can be challenging. Melanoma skin cancer causes more than 2,000 deaths a year in the UK, so it is essential to recognize the warning signs.

Two doctors have highlighted the main red flags to look out for and when it’s time to call a doctor. Dr Sooj, NHS GP and emergency first responder, shared the widely used ‘ABCDE’ checklist on TikTok, which serves as a useful starting point for anyone concerned about their moles. “Moles are small spots of color on the skin,” he explained in his @doctorsooj page. “You may have a new mole or notice a change in an existing mole. It’s probably nothing to worry about, but here are the signs of melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

The ‘ABCDE’ checklist stands for:

  • A – Asymmetrical: Unlike typical moles, melanomas tend to be uneven in shape or “two very different halves” in terms of color and texture.
  • B – Border: Melanomas usually have a jagged or irregular border.
  • C-Color: Melanomas usually have a mix of colors, such as brown, black, red, or pink.
  • D – Diameter: Melanomas are usually more than six millimeters wide, about the size of a pencil eraser.
  • E – Evolving: Any mole that changes shape, size, or color, or begins to bleed, itch, or scab over, is more likely to be melanoma.

Dr Gareth Nye, senior lecturer at Chester Medical School, also emphasized the importance of monitoring moles, especially in areas most exposed to the sun, such as arms, legs, face and neck. “Areas that are often missed by sunscreen are also likely areas, such as the backs and tops of the feet,” Dr. Nye explained. “Cancerous moles typically change color to become darker, change shape and become irregular, and may even bleed or itch.”

The difficulty lies in distinguishing between normal and abnormal moles. If you notice a new mole or changes to an existing one, it’s always worth getting it checked out. Pregnancy can also cause changes in moles, but they should still be evaluated by a health professional.

Dr. Sooj advises people to track changes in their moles using a phone camera or asking a loved one for their opinion. However, under no circumstances should anyone attempt to remove a mole themselves. Dr Nye warned: “It greatly increases the risk of infection and can cause permanent scarring. If the mole is cancerous, the underlying cancer cells are not removed, which can lead to the growth of a new mole or the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.”

When visiting a GP, it is useful to have information about when the mole first appeared, its initial appearance and how it has changed over time. Photographs can be particularly helpful in illustrating these changes to your doctor.

You may also like