Get to know the difference between a normal mole and cancer

Everyone has about 10-40 moles on his body. Tmole generally it is not a dangerous thing, nHowever, moles that are abnormal in color, size, or shape can be an early sign of skin cancer.

The skin has cells that produce dyes (pigments) called melanocytes. When these melanocyte cells grow close together, a mole is formed. Melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer and is now quite common, occurs when melanocyte cells grow uncontrollably. In the early stages of its appearance, melanoma can be difficult to distinguish from normal moles.

Difference Between Normal Mole and Melanoma

Although sometimes they can look similar, normal moles and melanoma skin cancer have some differences. This difference can be seen from:

1. Size or diameter

Normal moles are usually less than 5 millimeters in size. If there is a mole that is larger than 6 millimeters, then the mole needs to be watched out for.

2. Shape

Normal moles are usually oval or round in shape. When observed, the mole looks symmetrical. In skin cancer, moles are usually asymmetrical or irregular in shape.

3. Boundaries and surfaces

Normal moles usually have a clear border and a smooth surface. Whereas in skin cancer, the mole is usually not clearly demarcated, not neat, or fades into the surrounding skin. The surface is sometimes slightly scaly, dry, thickened, or hardened.

4. Color

Normal moles are usually brown or slightly pink. The color between moles on a person's body is usually uniform.

If a person has moles with different colors, ranging from light brown, dark brown, blue-black, or red, then there is a possibility that the mole is skin cancer.

5. Change or increase in quantity

The shape of a normal mole usually does not change much and the number does not increase in adulthood. If there is a mole that increases or decreases in size, changes color, thickens, or even appears at the age of more than 40 years, then there is a possibility that the mole is skin cancer.

Other changes that should also be watched out for are the appearance of itching, pain, sores, and discharge such as pus or blood from the mole.

Having one or more moles with an abnormal shape is not necessarily a melanoma. Sometimes these moles can be atypical moles that have an unusual appearance, but they are not cancer.

If you find a mole that looks abnormal, you should consult a dermatologist for further examination. In addition to consultation and physical examination, the doctor will perform a biopsy to help confirm the diagnosis of skin cancer.

If you or your family have a history of skin cancer, or are frequently exposed to the sun, it is advisable to have a monthly examination of the skin all over the body. Look for moles that are abnormally shaped and sized, from your scalp to the soles of your feet. If necessary, ask your family for help to examine parts of your body that are difficult to see, such as the scalp.

Written by:

dr. Irene Cindy Sunur