While it’s ideal to detect a melanoma when it’s small, it is a warning sign if a lesion is the size of a pencil eraser (about 6 mm, or ¼ inch in diameter) or larger. Some experts say it is also important to look for any lesion, no matter what size, that is darker than others.
What size is a cancerous mole?
Melanomas are often larger than 6 mm (1/4 inch) in diameter. However, with increased awareness about early detection, about 30% of melanomas are found when they are less than 6 mm in diameter.
How can you tell if a mole is suspicious?
Other warning signs include:
- A sore that doesn’t heal.
- Spread of color from the border of a spot to the skin around it.
- Redness or a new swelling beyond the border.
- Itchiness, tenderness or pain.
- Change in the surface of a mole — scaliness, oozing, bleeding, a new bump or nodule.
How big of a mole is too big?
Diameter. In general, concerning moles grow to a size of 6mm or larger. If you notice a larger mole, you should alert your doctor. However, a smaller mole that exhibits some of the other symptoms of a cancerous mole should also be examined.
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 4mm mole be cancerous?
Stage 2A – the melanoma is 2mm to 4mm thick, or it’s 1mm to 2mm thick and ulcerated. Stage 2B – the melanoma is thicker than 4mm, or it’s 2mm to 4mm thick and ulcerated. Stage 2C – the melanoma is thicker than 4mm and ulcerated.
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.
When a mole should be checked if it is larger than?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.
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.
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.
When should you go to the doctor for a mole?
Dermatologists 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. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.
When should I worry about a cancerous mole?
Spread of pigment from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Redness or a new swelling beyond the border of the mole. Change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain. Change in the surface of a mole – scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.
Are melanomas flat or raised?
The most common type of melanoma usually appears as a flat or barely raised lesion with irregular edges and different colours. Fifty per cent of these melanomas occur in preexisting moles.
How do you know if you caught melanoma early?
Any change in size, shape, color or elevation of a spot on your skin, or any new symptom in it, such as bleeding, itching or crusting, may be a warning sign of melanoma.
Can a mole get bigger and not be cancerous?
Healthy moles do not change in size, shape or color. If you notice a mole is getting bigger, changing shapes or getting darker than normal, this could be a sign of a malignant mole.