Over 9,000 people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day in the United States according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. In addition to taking precautions to protect yourself from harmful UV ray exposure from the sun and tanning beds, monitoring any changes to existing moles or new growths is an important factor in skin cancer prevention. Dr. Marc Meulener, a dermatologist in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ, recommends performing self-checks and scheduling regular skin cancer screenings to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Get Your Moles Checked in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ
Moles are very common and generally harmless, however, changes to the size, shape, color, or texture of an existing mole or new growths should be examined to be on the safe side. In rare cases, an abnormal or atypical mole can be a signal of melanoma risk. Like most forms of cancer, skin cancer is most treatable when diagnosed early, especially with melanoma.
What You Need to Know About Your Moles
Q: What is a mole?
A: Moles are benign growths of melanocytes, the cells responsible for pigmentation in the skin. They are usually black or brown in color and can be flat or raised from the skin, and develop almost anywhere on the body. They are typically round or oval in shape, and can vary in size from small to very large.
Q: What causes moles?
A: Moles form when melanocytes develop in a cluster. Most people have dozens of moles, and they usually appear in childhood and young adulthood. In most cases, they are normal and benign growths and not a cause for concern.
Q: Can moles become cancerous?
A: In rare cases, abnormal and atypical moles can become cancerous over time, or indicate an elevated risk for melanoma. But in most cases moles are benign and not a sign of cancer.
Q: Should I get my mole removed?
A: If you are worried about a mole, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist for a consultation. Look out for changes to the size, shape, texture, color, and borders, or if you notice new growths at any time. The dermatologist will thoroughly inspect the mole and order a skin biopsy if the cells look suspicious and remove the mole as a precaution.
Find a Dermatologist in Basking Ridge and Elizabeth, NJ
For more information about skin cancer prevention and treatment and what to look out for, contact Choice Dermatology to schedule an appointment today by calling (908) 766-7546 for Basking Ridge, or (908) 355-0112 for Elizabeth.