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Skin cancer in moles is called melanoma and is one of the (deadliest) types of skin cancer. Normal moles appear as small, regularly shaped (usually round) brown spots. According to the American Cancer Society, melanocytes are skin cells that form moles. These are the types of cells that can become melanoma. It is important to know the signs of melanoma and to see a physician promptly for examination.
Any changes in the appearance of a mole can be an indication of cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. For example, the border of the mole may be irregular, such as haivng edges, or the color of the mole may be different. Several shades of brown in one mole or an unusual color can occur in melanoma. Moles that have an irregular shape may be a warning sign, as normal moles are usually symmetrical. Symmetrical means that if you draw a line through the center of the mole, both halves look the same. If you have a family history of melanoma, you are at an increased risk of developing it.
Changes in the texture of a mole may be a sign of melanoma. If the mole becomes thicker, itches, bleeds, scabs over, forms a crust or erodes, you should have it checked by a dermatologist without delay. According to the American Cancer Society, the earlier melanoma is discovered and treated, the better the chances are that it will be cured. If the melanoma has penetrated the epidermis, it can very easily spread to other areas of your body.
The size of a mole can indicate the presence of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. A mole that is larger than 1/4 inch in diameter (6mm), or larger than the size of a pencil eraser, could be cancerous. It is important to note, however, that cancer can also be detected when the mole is smaller. It is important that you become familiar with your skin and any moles you have, so that you will notice if there are any changes or new moles.