Written By Meghan Belnap / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Skin cancer is a serious and potentially fatal disease. It can be diagnosed by changes in the color, size, or shape of the skin. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to tell whether a lesion is a mole or skin cancer.
How to Tell the Difference
You can tell the difference between a mole and skin cancer in many ways. A mole is typically less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter and flat-topped with well-defined edges that are smooth or slightly raised. It has a regular shape, color, and contour without any asymmetry or irregularity.
By comparison, a lesion is a sign of skin cancer if:
* It changes color, size, or shape.
* It has an irregular shape.
* It has a scaly or crusty surface.
Characteristics of Skin Cancer
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the outer layer of your skin (epidermis). It can look like a new growth of tissue with areas that are red, scaly, thickened, oozing fluid, or ulcerated with bleeding and crusting over.
This is a common type of cancer that affects millions of people every year. People should be aware of the signs and symptoms of basal or squamous cell cancer so they can receive early skin cancer treatments.
Identifying Focal Lesion, Moles, and Skin Cancer
Also, people are often confused about the difference between a focal lesion, a mole, and skin cancer. Here are the differences:
* Focused lesions are small, non-cancerous growths on the skin. They can be caused by sun exposure, injury, or other factors.
* Moles are clumps of pigment cells that grow in the skin. If they're causing problems like bleeding or itching, they can be removed.
How to Know if Your "Mole" Has Potential for Cancerous Change
You should see a doctor if what you thought was a mole changes in color, size, shape, or texture after two weeks of using over-the-counter drugs. It could be cancer. Whenever your "mole" changes in an unusual way that doesn't seem to make sense, check with your doctor.
What if You're Not Sure?
It's critical to know the difference between a mole and skin cancer, because if left untreated, skin cancer can lead to serious illness or even death. In the past, people looked for changes in color, size, shape, texture, and symmetry of a "mole" to tell if it was benign or not.
However, since this method can be subject to subjective interpretation, it is not dependable and can lead to misdiagnosis. So, it is always advisable to ask your doctor for their opinion since it will be objective and based on a scientific understanding.
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Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.