Large Moles Possibly Melanoma?

I have a couple of large, flat moles, and a couple raised. They do not grow nor bleed or ooze; are uniform in colour; and are pretty symmetrical. However, they are quite big (around 6mm for the flat ones). Is it possible that they are melanoma?

Doctor Answers 3

Body Check

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It is best to see a Dermatologist and have a body check. If the doctor thinks it looks unusual then they can have it biopsied.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Skin cancer removal and melanoma - Los Angeles

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Start with a consultation with a specialist in skin cancer to perform an initial screening. Any dangerous or risky lesions will either be watched or removed at that point. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Consult with a Dermatologist

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This is unfortunately an impossible question to answer without examining you. A consultation with a dermatologist will most likely put your mind at ease.

As a general rule moles that are already elevated and stable, rarely become malignant. This does not mean that they can not. Only that they are less likely.

The ABCD of rule of detecting melanoma has rather recently been joined by an E for Evolving. That means if you see a mole changing. If we know a pigmented lesion is mole and not another lesion like a seborrheic keratosis (barnicle), and has enlarged or changed color we are likely to biopsy it. Many of us utilize a special illuminated light called a dermatoscope to help us make this determination.

Reviewing the ABCD's of melanoma recognition:

Asymmetry One half of the lesion does not look like the other half

Border irregularity The border is scalloped or notched

Color variegation Varying hues, varying colors

Diameter Should not be greater than 6 mm, the size of a pencil eraser. Use the longest axis.

Most melanomas are not symptomatic. Itching or bleeding are bad signs.

Many of us feel that the D sholuld be de-emphasized since smaller lesions are nearly always cured and there should be an effort to detect them BEFORE they get to the 6 mm stage.

Your lesions seem to qualify only on the D score. Still you should have an evaluation. It could save your life. At the minimum it will control your anxiety.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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.