Can Moles And Skin Tags Become Cancerous?
Skin Moles are incredibly commonplace. In fact, a lot of adults have between 10 to 40 in different places on their body usually found above the waist and on areas exposed to sunlight. Some people have more than others. People who have more than 50 do have an increased chance of developing melanoma. Common skin moles appear during the first 20 years of the person’s life, although they can continue to create new ones until about the age of 40. In seniors, they tend to fade away.
What Are Common Moles?
Moles are classified as a tumor and which makes them the most common benign tumor in humans, but still an abnormal growth. Moles develop on the skin when pigment cells (melanocytes) grow in clusters. They are usually less than 5 millimeters wide and typically round or oval sometimes with a distinct edge that isolates it from the rest of the skin surface.
The shape also varies. They can be flat, smooth spot or raised from a bump. The color can be diversified depending on your type of skin, pink, tan, brown or black in people with darker skin. Otherwise, the color is usually uniform all over. The vast majority are harmless and will not create any difficulty besides maybe cosmetic dilemmas.
Growth Of Cancerous Skin Cells
Some can nevertheless be pre-cancerous and could develop into cancer. Cancer originates in cells, the building blocks which are the formation tissue growth. Tissues form to make skin and other organs of the human body.
The life cycle of cells starts by growing and dividing to form new cells as the body needs them. When healthy cells become old or get damaged they usually die so, new cells take their place.
This process can get disrupted. New cells can form when the body doesn’t need any. Sometimes older or damaged cells don’t die when they expected. The excess of additional new cells often creates a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.
These growths on the skin surface can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign tumors are not as harmful as malignant growths.
Benign growths (moles):
- Are seldom threat to life
- Can usually be removed and will rarely grow back
- Do not overrun the tissues around them
- Does not spread to other areas of the body
Malignant growths (such as melanoma):
- A credible threat to life
- When removed could grow back
- Could invade and damage nearby organs and tissues
- Likely to spread to other parts of the body
Check Your Moles For Signs Of Cancer
Even though that seems scary, most moles are quite harmless. The harmful or serious ones are inferred to as dysplastic nevi. These are the ones that can ultimately become melanoma. These atypical growths are most prevalent in people with a genetic predisposition.
Here are some indications that your skin mole could be dangerous. It is not a comprehensive list, but if you have doubts, you should contact your doctor.
Cancerous skin moles may possess one, some, or all of the following characteristics:
- Bigger than an eraser on a pencil
- Irregular changes in form or color (gets bigger or smaller)
- Bleeds easily or oozes
- Starts to get sore or itchy
- Alters in shape, texture, or height
- Inflammatory variations that cannot be explained by an external influence.
- A surface of mole becomes dry or scaly
- The mole becomes hard or feels lumpy
- A new mole that looks different from your other moles
Your doctor is the only one that can diagnose the uncertainty of a growth. If a skin mole persistently comes back, it could suggest a possible melanoma.
Melanoma can appear on any skin surface. In men, it’s often located on the skin around the head, the neck, or between the shoulders and hips. In women, it’s usually found on the skin toward the lower legs or between the shoulders and hips.
It can appear from an ordinary mole, and it can develop in areas of seemingly normal skin. Melanoma can also occur in the eye, the digestive system, and in other areas of the body.
Risk Factors Developing Skin Cancer
The principal risk factor for skin cancer is prolonged exposure to sunlight’s UV radiation. There are other risk factors listed below. They are all recognized risks factors that may increase the chance of getting a disease.
However, some people are more likely than others to exhibit features of skin cancer, depending on the type of skin cancer it varies in how probable it could develop.
Exposure to sunlight which is a source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is the most significant risk factor for any skin
cancer. Prolonged exposure to UV rays cause skin damage which can be a precursor to skin-related cancers.
- A lifetime of exposure to the sun: The total measure of exposure over a person’s lifetime increases the chances of skin cancer.
- Tanning: Tanning somewhat lessens the risk of sunburn, people who suntan easily and not sunburn still have a higher risk of skin cancer because of extended exposure to artificial UV rays, even on months where there are fewer UV Rays.
Other factors that affect how UV rays affect each of use also depends on…
- Time of Day: UV rays are stronger between 10 am and 4 pm
- Season of the year: UV rays are stronger during spring and summer months. If you live near the equator, the rays are stronger throughout the year
- Distance from the equator: If you live near the equator then UV rays are stronger most months of the year. The further you live from the equator UV exposure goes down but still a risk.
- Reflection of surfaces: UV rays can bounce off reflective surfaces such as sand, water, snow, pavements, this increases UV exposure.
Tips To Protect Your Skin From The Sun
- Avoid outdoor activity when you can. If you must be outdoor seek shade
- wear long sleeve and pants/trousers to cover your skin
- Wear hats with a wide brim to shade your face as well as your neck and ears. baseball caps and sun visors only protect the skin around your eyes
- Wear sunglasses which absorb UV radiation because they will help protect the skin around your eyes
- Use sunscreen creams/lotion with a factor (SPF) of at least .30. Apply for 30mins before going outside and apply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Read and apply the products recommended amounts to exposed skin. Use a sunscreen that filters both UVB and UVA radiation.
Looking After Yourself And Your Skin
If you have any concerns, anxieties, or general questions concerning a skin mole, or have noticed any other change in your skin, only your doctor will be able to support and advise you. The sooner you contact a doctor, the better off you will be if the skin mole is declared to be malignant.