Can congenital moles be cancerous?

Most congenital nevi usually do not cause health problems, but a small percentage may develop into skin cancer (melanoma) later in life. The risk of melanoma increases with the size of the nevus.

What is congenital melanoma?

2-5 Congenital melanoma is a small sub- set of childhood disease and is defined as malignant melanoma recognized at birth (ie, disease develop- ment in utero). Infantile melanoma is defined as malignant melanoma that develops within the first year of life.

Can congenital moles grow?

If they are seen at birth or develop during the first 1-2 years of life they are called congenital melanocytic nevi. While most of these moles are small, some may be very large. Most of these will grow as your child grows.

Do congenital nevi grow with age?

Congenital naevi usually enlarge as the child grows but they may sometimes become smaller and less obvious with time. Rarely some may even disappear. However, they may also become darker, raised, more bumpy and hairy, particularly around the time of puberty.

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Can a birthmark become cancerous?

Most birthmarks, such as the common port wine stains and strawberry marks, carry no risk of developing into a cancer. But a very rare type, called a giant congenital melanocytic naevus, can develop into a melanoma if it is larger than 20cm.

When should I be concerned about a mole on my child?

If a mole bleeds without reason, however, it should be checked. A mole that looks like an open sore is also worrisome. Bleeding or a break in the skin can be a sign of melanoma. Bottom line: If your child has a mole that starts to bleed or looks like an open sore, a dermatologist should examine the mole.

Why are babies born with moles?

This may be a birthmark or mole, both of which are common in babies. Birthmarks appear at birth or in the weeks following birth and occur because blood vessels or pigment cells are not formed correctly. Moles, on the other hand, can appear at birth or any time throughout your child’s life.

What is a CMN birth mark?

Summary. Congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) are visible pigmented (melanocytic) proliferations in the skin that are present at birth. CMN are benign, tumor-like malformations resulting from faulty development of pigment cell (melanocyte) precursors in the embryo, and composed of an abnormal mixture of skin elements.

Can a baby be born with melanoma?

While rare, a baby can be born with melanoma. This cancer is one of the few cancers that can cross the placenta. If the mother has advanced cancer, the placenta can be checked for melanoma when the baby is born.

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What does a giant congenital melanocytic nevus look like?

A congenital pigmented or melanocytic nevus is a dark-colored, often hairy, patch of skin. It is present at birth or appears in the first year of life. A giant congenital nevus is smaller in infants and children, but it usually continues to grow as the child grows.

Does melanocytic mean melanoma?

Background Moles, or melanocytic nevi, are both markers of an increased risk of cutaneous melanoma and direct precursor lesions.

Is a compound nevus benign or malignant?

Compound naevi are considered to be benign neoplasms of melanocytes if they arise in later life. Compound naevi arise from a flat (junctional) naevus that exists earlier in life and may have a raised central portion of deeper pigmentation with surrounding tan-brown macular pigmentation.

What does nevus look like?

A common mole (nevus) is a small growth on the skin that is usually pink, tan, or brown and has a distinct edge. A dysplastic nevus is often large and does not have a round or oval shape or a distinct edge. It may have a mixture of pink, tan, or brown shades.

How do you know if moles are cancerous?

Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

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Can melanoma look like a birthmark?

It can look like a: Changing mole. Spot that looks like a new mole, freckle, or age spot, but it looks different from the others on your skin. Spot that has a jagged border, more than one color, and is growing.