Cancer is a scary condition which affects millions of people a year. Understanding the early signs and symptoms of skin cancer and how to tell a normal mole from a potentially concerning mole can be crucial in preventing a life-threatening situation. Find out more about the early signs of skin cancer and how you can determine if your mole is normal or suspicious with Dr. Alan Rockoff and Dr. Katherine Fening at The Rockoff Dermatology Center with locations in Andover, MA and Brookline, MA.
Spotting Skin Cancer with the ABCDEs
- Asymmetry: Cancerous moles are often asymmetrical. A normal mole is symmetrical and one solid color.
- Border: The border of a suspicious mole may look jagged or uneven. A normal mole is round or ovular in shape.
- Color: A mole should have one solid color within smooth, ovular or circular borders. If you have more than one color in your mole or if it is very dark or black, you should consult with your dermatologist.
- Diameter: A normal mole is usually less than 6 millimeters in diameter, or smaller than an everyday pencil eraser.
- Evolution: A cancerous mole changes shape, size, or color, often quickly. Most cases of skin cancer occur in a new growth, meaning that old moles normally do not develop cancerous cells.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatments in Andover, MA and Brookline, MA
If you think you have a suspicious mole, you should see your dermatologist for a skin examination. This visit will allow your doctor to go over your skin to ensure that there are no concerning moles or marks on your skin. If there is, your doctor may take a biopsy to examine in a laboratory setting to determine if the mole is cancerous or benign. Your doctor may remove the mole altogether. It is wise to consult with your dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment for you.
For more information on skin cancer or skin examinations, please contact Dr. Alan Rockoff and Dr. Katherine Fening at The Rockoff Dermatology Center with locations in Andover, MA and Brookline, MA. Call (978) 475-9230 to schedule an appointment in Andover and (617) 731-2390 to schedule an appointment in Brookline today!