All people have moles in different parts of the body, which appear over the years and for several reasons, such as: long hours exposed to the sun, genetic factors, pregnancy, among others. It is important to examine by yourself on a regular basis those moles that you already have and those that appear over time, as this will help detect skin cancer early. Dr. Mauricio León, surgical oncologist and skin cancer expert at Clinica Ricardo Palma, give us with more information.
Warning signs to detect a dangerous mole on time
It is possible to detect them thanks to the ABCDE rule:
- A If you place a mirror in the middle of the mole, both parts should be the same; if not, it should be considered an alarm sign.
- B If the borders of the lesion are irregular, it is also a warning sign.
- C Normally benign moles have a uniform color, such as brown, blue or red. In contrast, malignant lesions have different colors.
- D When the mole exceeds 6 millimeters, it is possible that there is skin cancer.
- E If changes are detected in the mole, it itches, ulcerates and/or bleeds, it may be because it has become malignant.
- Pigmented lesions or moles that are found under the nails, on the soles of the feet, on the palms of the hands, or that are black in color, should always be evaluated by a specialist to rule out melanoma, a highly-lethal type of cancer.
- You should use sunscreen permanently, wear cotton clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
- It is important to avoid direct sun exposure between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- If you have an unusual mole, sore, bump, blemish, mark or unusual change in the appearance of the skin, it could be a sign of skin cancer or a warning that it may become so. These are called pre-malignant lesions and should be treated immediately by a specialist.
- Carry out the corresponding follow-up of a pigmented lesion. The best way to do this is to take a photo and repeat it in 6 months so you can compare it.
Dr. Mauricio León
Surgical Oncologist and Skin Cancer Expert at Clinica Ricardo Palma