Does a mole getting darker always mean cancer?

Darkening is one possible sign that a mole is becoming cancerous and could be a melanoma.

Are cancerous moles always dark?

Malignant melanoma, which starts out as a mole, is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, killing almost 10,000 people each year. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can be almost any color; skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanomas are caused mainly by intense UV exposure.

Do benign moles get darker?

Q: Can a benign mole change color? A: Yes. Most commonly, moles change color over time by getting darker after exposure to sunlight. This is not necessarily a cause for concern, but could indicate the presence of melanoma, so it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Should I be concerned if a mole gets darker?

Kohen says. First, if a mole has multiple colors in it, it could be cause for concern. “If you have a mole that started out as brown in color and suddenly has black or red (or both) in it, you should get it checked out by your dermatologist,” she says.

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Do moles naturally get darker?

Although your pattern of moles is most likely determined by your genetics, sun exposure can cause you to have more moles, and can cause the ones you already have to get darker. New moles tend to appear and existing ones tend to get larger and darker during your teen years and if you become pregnant.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

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.

What does non cancerous moles look like?

While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear. D is for Diameter and Dark.

Can you have a cancerous mole for years?

Some moles can be present at birth, but most appear during childhood or young adulthood. New moles that appear later in life should be checked by a doctor. Once a mole has developed, it will usually stay the same size, shape, and color for many years. Some moles may eventually fade away.

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Can a mole look like melanoma but be benign?

Funny-looking moles may look like melanoma but are actually harmless (benign) spots that don’t need to be removed. However, if you have a few, particularly five or more of these funny-looking moles, your chance of getting a melanoma is increased.

Why do moles get darker?

The brown color is caused by melanocytes, special cells that produce the pigment melanin. Moles probably are determined before a person is born. Most appear during the first 20 years of life, although some may not appear until later. Sun exposure increases the number of moles, and they may darken.

Can a mole get bigger and not be cancerous?

Healthy moles do not change in size, shape or color. If you notice a mole is getting bigger, changing shapes or getting darker than normal, this could be a sign of a malignant mole.

Which moles are cancerous?

Diameter: Cancerous moles can change in size, usually growing larger. If a mole becomes larger than 6 millimeters (one-quarter of an inch), it may be cancerous. Evolving: A change in the appearance of a mole over weeks or months may indicate that it is cancerous.

When is a mole suspicious?

A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.

What does Stage 1 melanoma mean?

Stage I Melanoma

This is a noninvasive stage, which is also called melanoma “in situ,” meaning “in its original place.” With stage I melanoma, the tumor’s thickness is 1mm or less. This tumor may or may not have ulcerated, and it isn’t yet believed to have spread beyond the original site.

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When should a mole be checked?

Dermatologists recommend that you examine your skin every month. Most moles are benign (non-cancerous). If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, have your mole evaluated by a dermatologist. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.