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When Is a Mole a Sign of Melanoma?

When is a mole worth worrying about? When should it be a cause of concern? Although most moles are benign (noncancerous), they can sometimes be a sign of cancer. See a dermatologist if your mole is new, growing or otherwise changing.

“Varied colors within a mole, irregular borders of a mole, or a very dark spot on the skin may signal that you have a mole cancer called melanoma. Additionally, moles that are growing in size and enlarging out of proportion to any other spot on the body can be a worrisome sign,” says Charles M. Moon, MD, dermatologist at Saint Francis Medical Center.

Charles (Chuck) M. Moon, MD
Charles (Chuck) M. Moon, MD

Following your “ABCDEs” is another way to determine how dangerous your mole might be. Let your dermatologist know if your mole has any of the following characteristics:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders (irregular)
  • Colors (variegated)
  • Diameter greater than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving over time

For more information, call Saint Francis Cancer Institute at 573-334-2230.

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