If you have a mole that concerns you, your family doctor can usually let you know if it’s normal or needs further investigation. He or she may then refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist) for diagnosis and treatment.
Can a GP tell if a mole is cancerous?
Seeing your GP
Abnormal looking moles are quite common but melanoma is quite rare in comparison. So it can be difficult for GPs to decide who may have a melanoma and who may have a non cancerous change in a mole or area of skin. For some symptoms, your doctor may ask you to wait to see if the symptoms change over time.
When should I see a doctor about a mole?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.
Can primary care doctors look at moles?
Primary-care physicians include family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine. If your physician feels that a mole needs to be removed, he or she may either perform the procedure himself or herself or refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist).
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.
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.
What is a cancerous mole look like?
Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.
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.
Should I see a doctor or dermatologist for moles?
If you notice changes in a mole’s color or appearance, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. You also should have moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or become tender or painful.
Can the ER diagnose melanoma?
In the emergency department, you will see many skin lesions that may or may not relate to the patient’s presenting complaint. As seen in the presenting case of melanoma with metastasis to the brain, a thorough skin exam may even help with the diagnosis.
Should I get my mole biopsied?
When you notice a concerning rash or mole on your skin, the body’s largest organ, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist to have it evaluated. Sometimes after checking the area, your dermatologist may recommend a skin biopsy. Skin biopsies are an important part of verifying a diagnosis.
How does a dermatologist check a mole?
How does a dermatologist determine if moles are a concern? Normal (benign) skin moles do not need to be removed (doing so will leave a scar). If your dermatologist determines that the mole is a concern, he or she will perform a skin biopsy, in which a small sample of the mole is taken to examine under a microscope.
Are melanomas flat or raised?
The most common type of melanoma usually appears as a flat or barely raised lesion with irregular edges and different colours. Fifty per cent of these melanomas occur in preexisting moles.
Is melanoma a death sentence?
Metastatic melanoma was once almost a death sentence, with a median survival of less than a year. Now, some patients are living for years, with a few out at more than 10 years. Clinicians are now talking about a ‘functional cure’ in the patients who respond to therapy.
How long can you live with melanoma untreated?
Survival for all stages of melanoma
almost all people (almost 100%) will survive their melanoma for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed. around 90 out of every 100 people (around 90%) will survive their melanoma for 5 years or more after diagnosis.