Moles are quite common and are usually harmless. However, an odd-looking mole could be a sign of skin cancer. The best thing to do if you discover an unusual-looking mole or notice changes in the appearance of an existing mole is to see a dermatologist for further evaluation. One of the experienced dermatologists at Southside Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center in Tulsa, OK, can perform a skin cancer screening to determine if an odd-looking mole could be cancerous.
Skin Cancer Screenings
You should see a dermatologist at our office in Tulsa, OK, right away if you have an odd-looking mole. Certain characteristics of moles can be signs of skin cancer, such as having an unusual shape. A biopsy or other tests can reveal whether or not cancer is present.
Skin cancer is easier to treat when it is detected early so it is important not to delay in having an odd-looking mole evaluated. It can also be beneficial to have a full-body skin cancer screening. During a screening, the doctor will examine the skin on your entire body looking for possible signs of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
It is normal to have a few moles somewhere on your skin and moles are usually harmless. However, moles on areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to the sun can be more vulnerable to developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Changes in the appearance of these moles are sometimes a sign of skin cancer. Additionally, the development of new, oddly-shaped moles could also be a sign of cancer.
Some warning signs that a mole could be cancerous include:
- Asymmetrical moles
- Multi-colored moles
- Moles that begin bleeding
- Moles that are tender or painful
- Changes in the size, color, or shape
- Changes in the texture of a mole
- Itchy patches around a mole
Even when an odd-looking mole turns out not to be cancerous, the dermatologist might still recommend having the mole removed. Removing certain moles could potentially reduce the risk of developing melanoma or another type of skin cancer.
If you have an odd-looking mole, you should have a doctor examine it as soon as possible. Many types of skin cancer are easily treated when the cancer is diagnosed early. To have a mole checked out, schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dermatologists by calling Southside Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center in Tulsa, OK, at (918) 760-0700.