If you have several moles on your body, you may be concerned about whether or not any of your moles are cancerous. There are a number of ways that the human body signals potentially cancerous moles are present. Changes in the size of a mole, bleeding, itching or an increase in new moles are all examples of signs that moles are or could become cancerous. The following are measures that can be taken to monitor the moles on your body and reduce the chances of skin cancer becoming a fatal outcome.
This is a process that involves you doing the examination in the comfort of your home each month. If you have moles on your back or another obscure area, it is wise to ask a friend or family member to assist you. This is because your examination at home will involve you taking special note of the known moles on your body as well as the documenting the presence of any new moles.
Self-exams involve looking at every inch of your body. This is why it is a good idea to use a full-length mirror if possible. Ensure that you do not forget to look in between creases and folds in skin, around the groin area, underneath breasts and buttocks, and on your scalp. If you perform the scalp observation alone, you will need a second mirror. A handheld mirror is ideal for this purpose.
This involves a dermatologist professional taking full body pictures of patients. All or most areas of patients' bodies are photographed with a special camera, which is considered a medical imaging device. The resulting photos are high-resolution. Ideally, imaging is performed with patients not wearing clothing, but in some cases, scant clothing may be allowed.
Full nudity allows the best option of ensuring that all moles on the body are accounted for. The moles on the body are measured and noted in the patients' medical charts, and the photos are digitally stored. Subsequent appointments involve taking additional photographs and comparing the images to study changes in moles.
If mole mapping uncovers moles that could be cancerous or pose a problem in the future, dermatologists may opt to get more advanced imaging of the problematic moles. This approach is an excellent option for magnifying moles. The information contained from the imaging can be used with other tests to determine whether moles are benign, should be removed or whether patients will need to undergo skin cancer treatment.
A dermatologist like one from Dermatology Surgery Center is the best resource to use to get a full list of signs of cancerous or precancerous moles. They can provide you with body map sheets to use at home for your self-exams. They can also help you to understand the importance of treating skin cancer in its early stages.