I have a lot of moles, but I have a huge mole on my chest and it above the skin its pink and I've had it for like 13 years and I want to know if it is cancer and what I should do???
Do I Need to Get my Mole Removed off of my Chest?
Doctor Answers 6
You should have this mole and others checked by a board-certified dermatologist. Many factors go in to deciding if a mole should be removed, including the history of the mole, recent changes, risk factors for melanoma, and a comparison of the mole to others you may have. A yearly skin exam by a dermatologist is a fast, simple way to have your mole(s) evaluated and check areas you cannot see yourself.
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A mole which is well circumscribed such as yours and has not changed is very likely to be benign. The photograph does not draw suspicions. However, a visit to the dermatologist, as some of the plastic surgeons have suggested, would be warranted.
Many of us now use a device called a dermatoscope. This reflects light in a certain manner (epiluminescence) that casts a characteristic pattern. This increases our accuracy from 82% with the naked eye to about 95%. Your type of mole, which appears to be an intradermal nevus, is especially easy to examine. I am sure the reassurance would be rewarding.
Dr. Hess gave an excellent review of what to look for regarding the ABCDE's of worrisome moles. I will not regurgitate that here. However, dermatology has been emphasizing the E as standing for evolution ( not elevation). So, if you see any change in a mole, evolution, this should draw suspicion. In fact, this is one of the questions we ask, almost by reflex. "Have you noticed any change in your moles."
This can not be emphasized enough. Just last week, one of my favorite patients, presented because he had noticed that a mole on his upper chest had changed. It was not terribly suspicious and he stated that it had changed only slightly . Some might have passed over it. The biopsy: melanoma-in-situ.
Most likely this is a benign growth. Your dermatologist can evaluate this by history & clinical examination. A biopsy [ sample] may be needed, if clinically not certain.
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A history and physical exam is a necessity here, but these general rules will help: They are warning signs that may indicated the mole is suspicious: The are known as the ABCD's of moles. These are merely rough guidelines.
Asymmetry can be assessed by comparing one half of the growth to the other half to determine if the halves are equal in size. Unequal or asymmetric moles are suspicious.
If the mole's border is irregular, notched, scalloped, or indistinct, it is more likely to be cancerous (or precancerous) and is thus suspicious.
Variation of color (e.g., more than one color or shade) within a mole is a suspicious finding. Different shades of browns, blues, reds, whites, and blacks are all concerning.
Any mole that has a diameter larger than a pencil's eraser in size (> 6 mm) should be considered suspicious.
If a mole is elevated, or raised from of the skin, it should be considered suspicious.
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You need a personal evaluation by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, who can advise you regarding this mole.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.