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How do you find out if a mole is cancerous?

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Quick Answer

Find out if a mole is cancerous by going to a dermatologist and getting the mole tested, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This is especially important if the mole looks strange or behaves in an unusual way.

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How do you find out if a mole is cancerous?
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Full Answer

Melanomas are skin cancers that often begin inside existing moles or resemble new moles, says the AAD. Over time, the mole grows quickly, changes its shape or changes its color. It may also be scaly and bleed or oozes.

One way to determine whether a mole is normal or not is the ABCDE technique, says WebMD. "A" stands for asymmetrical. This means that if the mole is cut in half, one half is larger than the other. "B" is for border. The borders of a skin cancer such as melanoma are irregular. "C" is for color. A mole should have a uniform color. Moles that are all different colors are moles that need to be checked. "D" is for diameter. The diameter of a mole should not be larger than that of a pencil eraser. "E" stands for evolving. A mole that is changing in size should be checked.

Fortunately, a cancerous mole that is found early is easy to treat and cure, says the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is simply excised in the doctor's office or removed through Mohs micrographic surgery. It can also be destroyed by electricity, freezing, radiation or photodynamic therapy.

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