If you have a mole that concerns you, your family doctor can usually let you know if it’s normal or needs further investigation. He or she may then refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) for diagnosis and treatment. It’s a good idea to arrive for your appointment well-prepared.
Can normal doctors check moles?
In short, no. Your regular GP is qualified to diagnose skin cancers, and in most cases treat them as well. You may use a dedicated skin clinic if you wish, but in general the GPs at these clinics are no more qualified to perform skin checks than GPs at regular medical centres.
Who should I see to get a mole checked?
Dermatologists (physicians who are skin experts) recommend that you examine your skin every month. Most moles are benign (non-cancerous). If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, have your mole evaluated by a dermatologist.
Can a family doctor diagnose skin cancer?
Although a skin exam with your primary care physician (PCP) can be a starting point in evaluating your skin for cancer, a dermatologist is the expert. Since a PCP will often refer you to a dermatologist if they aren’t sure about a spot, it makes sense to go straight to a dermatologist for an exam.
Can you have melanoma for years and not know?
How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.
Will a GP remove a mole?
Most moles are harmless. Harmless moles are not usually treated on the NHS. You can pay a private clinic to remove a mole, but it may be expensive. A GP can give you advice about where to get treatment.
When is a mole suspicious?
Border that is irregular: The edges of suspicious moles are ragged, notched or blurred in outline, while healthy moles tend to have more even borders. The pigment of the mole may also spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: The mole may have various colors present, including black, brown and tan.
Should I see a doctor or dermatologist for moles?
If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.
What age should you get moles checked?
There is no set age for regular skin checks to begin or how often they should occur, said Jenny Nelson, MD, a dermatologist with Avera Medical Group Dermatology Sioux Falls. “I’ve had 20-year-olds who’ve had scary moles,” Nelson said. “There is no universal age.
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 a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?
A visual check of your skin only finds moles that may be cancer. It can’t tell you for sure that you have it. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a test called a biopsy.
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.
What is a cancerous mole look like?
Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
Do cancerous moles hurt?
So, a painful mole is not always a sign of danger. And cancerous moles are often not at all painful. But some moles that become cancerous, which, in the case of a pigmented mole, means melanoma, can be accompanied by pain or unusual sensitivity different from the surrounding skin.
Can a mole look like melanoma but be benign?
Funny-looking moles may look like melanoma but are actually harmless (benign) spots that don’t need to be removed. However, if you have a few, particularly five or more of these funny-looking moles, your chance of getting a melanoma is increased.