Cancer Birthmarks: Description, Symptoms and Features of Removal
Almost every person on the body has one or more moles. As a rule, they do not cause discomfort and have no effect on health. But recently, more and more people have started to develop cancer moles, which are harbingers of a terrible disease - skin cancer. Unfortunately, few can distinguish the usual birthmark from malignant, which leads to the development of the disease. In the article we will consider in detail how the cancerous moles look, what are their features and how to get rid of them.
What is a malignant birthmark?
Malignant birthmark is a cancerous disease called melanoma. It can form anywhere on the body, but most often appears in open areas, since they are susceptible to ultraviolet radiation.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of cancer. It is very important to follow all the birthmarks on the body, especially if there are a lot of them. If the malignant mole is detected in time, melanoma can be prevented.
To prevent the development of skin cancer, it is very important to know how to determine a cancerous birthmark. For comparison, consider the characteristics of ordinary moles and cancer.
Conventional harmless moles have a uniform color( brown or black), a clear boundary that separates them from the rest of the body. Moles have a round or oval shape, their size is about 6 mm.
The human body can usually have 10 to 45 moles. New can appear up to 40 years, and some, on the contrary, with age, disappear.
Now let's talk about malignant birthmarks. They are, as a rule, very much, and outwardly they are very different from the usual color, size, contour( more about this - below).It happens that a normal mole can develop into a malignant mole. In order not to miss this moment and start treatment on time, you need to undergo a test every six months or a year.
Symptoms of malignant moles
Malignant moles( cancer cells) have some clear signs that will help distinguish them from a typical mole. The initial stage of the disease - melanocytic dysplasia - is still treatable. Therefore, if the cancerous mole is detected and removed in time, skin cancer can be avoided.
In 1985 dermatologists developed the abbreviation ABCDE, each letter of which stands for one sign of a cancer mole. Over time, this abbreviation was adapted to the Russian language, and it began to sound like an AKORD( asymmetry, edges, color, size, dynamics).It is on these grounds and can identify a malignant growth. Let us examine each feature in more detail.
- Asymmetry. As already mentioned above, the usual birthmarks are symmetrical. If you notice even the slightest asymmetry, you need to urgently consult a doctor.
- Edges. Cancer moles have uneven, fuzzy and even crenate edges.
- Coloring. Ordinary birthmarks are usually the same color( black or brown).Cancer moles on the body can be of different shades, including red.
- Size. Ordinary birthmarks do not exceed 6 mm. If the mole is more than 6 mm, then, most likely, it is malignant. In addition, cancer moles quickly increase in size.
- Dynamics. If the birthmark is benign, then it does not change its color or size for many years. If you began to notice the changes, then you need to contact the doctor for an examination.
So, we examined the characteristics and symptoms of a cancer mole. If you notice at least one of these items, urgently run to the doctor to prevent the possible development of melanoma.
A person can live with birthmarks all his life, and they will not disturb him in any way. But there is always a risk that the standard tumor will grow into a malignant one. Consider the most likely risk factors for converting a birthmark to a cancer:
- The presence of severe sunburn or long exposure to sunlight on normal birthmarks.
- People with white skin, blond hair and eyes, as well as freckles, are more likely to develop cancerous moles on their bodies.
- If the body has a lot of ordinary moles, then there is a very high risk that sooner or later they will grow into malignant ones.
- Large sizes of standard moles. If the usual mole itself is large in size, then the risk of developing melanoma at times increases.
- Hereditary factor. If relatives have oncological skin diseases, then you too are at risk.
To avoid the development of melanoma, it is important to consider all these factors and at the slightest suspicion that the mole becomes malignant, go to the doctor.
How is the examination?
To diagnose "cancerous moles," dermatoscopy should first be performed. Using a magnifying glass and a dermatoscope, you can examine the surface of the built-up signs of melanoma. At the same time, the pigment of the skin and blood vessels is studied and evaluated by sampling a sample of a growing mole.
The diagnosis is confirmed after a biopsy( histological analysis).Using local anesthesia, the part of the mole is removed in order to thoroughly study its structure in the laboratory. This method is one of the most accurate.
It is possible to diagnose cancer at an early stage using a computer microdermoscopy system, but this method is not yet widely used.
The most important thing, if you yourself noticed even the slightest changes in the appearance or size of your birthmarks - you need to contact the doctor. The doctor himself will choose the necessary method of diagnosis, and with a timely examination, the risk of developing skin cancer is reduced.
Some facts you need to know about cancer birthmarks
If a person has more than 50 birthmarks on his body, then he needs to closely monitor their condition and, at the slightest change, consult an oncologist.
In addition to the above features, there are several factors to consider:
- Darkening. A common birthmark can be black. But if it was originally brown and suddenly began to darken, then this is cause for concern. Many people do not pay attention to the darkening of moles, because black color is the norm.
- Inflammation. If the skin around the most common birthmark is inflamed or redness is formed, then you need to urgently go to the doctor for a checkup. And in no case can you treat the inflamed skin with alcohol, this can only exacerbate the situation.
- Surface. It has already been said about the borders of the birthmark. But also pay attention to its surface. From the top it should be smooth, without obvious roughness. If there are any, this is a sign of the development of melanoma.
- If there are dark areas of skin around the usual birthmark, then this is a great cause for concern. It is urgent to check with an oncologist.
As you can see, there are a lot of signs of melanoma development. It's very difficult to remember them all. Remember that any change in the standard birthmark may indicate that it is transformed into a malignant one.
To date, the only possible treatment for melanoma is the removal of cancer moles. The complexity of the operation depends on the neglect of the situation and on the size of the education. For small growths, half an hour is enough.
When removing a cancer mole, the surgeon cuts a small area of skin( 1 cm) around the mole to prevent the appearance of new ones in the same place. The larger the malignant birthmark is in the volume and size, the more skin around should be removed.
After cutting out the mole, its sample is sent to the laboratory. There they study its prevalence level, that is, the probability that new growths will appear on the body.
What predictions do doctors give?
Thickness of a tumor is the main criterion by which oncologists make predictions. If the birthmark was small, the risk of its re-formation is small, and the chance of a life without melanoma grows.
The rehabilitation period after removal of the build-up is short. At the site of the removed birthmark a scar is formed, which heals fairly quickly. The size of the scar depends on the method of removal.
Laser removal is the safest way, which almost leaves no traces and scars. But this method can not be used in neglected cases.
It should be noted that if the operation was performed in a timely manner, then the risk of melanoma in the future is very small. In the future, you just need to be observed regularly with an oncologist to avoid relapse.
In the article we examined in detail what are cancerous moles, what are the ways of their treatment, and also the signs that will help to reveal their development at an early stage. Watch your body and stay healthy!