Moles are common and often don’t pose a threat. However, some moles can be cancerous and if they are not treated, the cancer could spread through the body. It’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs, including malignant moles. Unfortunately, skin cancer is very common and can be deadly. If you'd like to undergo a mole check and live near Chicago, IL, contact North Branch Dermatology. Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach would be happy to provide assistance.
Fortunately, cancer screenings have made it easier to spot many different types of cancers. With skin cancer, doctors can perform a mole check, examining various moles to determine if they are cancerous.
What Happens During a Mole Check
First, before you even head to the doctor’s office, it’s smart to look over your body yourself. After all, you’re the leading expert when it comes to your own body. Using a full-length mirror, you should closely check over every inch of your body. You can also have a loved one, such as a spouse, help.
If you notice any new moles, you should note them. When you visit a dermatologist, you can let them know that these moles may be new. If moles suddenly appear, it’s sometimes because they are cancerous.
Once you head to the doctor’s office for a mole checkup, you’ll have to remove all of your clothing. This may make patients a bit uncomfortable, but it’s important to remember that for doctors, naked bodies are simply part of the job.
Your doctor will carefully go over every part of your body, looking for moles. This process usually takes about 10 minutes to complete. During this screening, you can also talk with your doctor about lifestyle choices, other signs that you may be suffering from cancer, and more.
If you need a mole check and live in the Chicago, IL, area, contact North Branch Dermatology. Dr. Fahrenbach can perform a thorough examination.
The ABCDEs of Moles
Doctors use a simple screening process often referred to as ABCDE. This framework denotes what doctors are looking for. Let’s take a look at the individual traits.
- Asymmetry- Benign moles are often symmetrical, meaning that they’re the same shape on every side. Cancerous moles, on the other hand, are often asymmetrical.
- Border Irregularity- If the edges of the mole are blurry or jagged, it’s possible that the mole may be cancerous.
- Color- Benign moles are typically black, tan, or brown. Cancerous moles, on the other hand, sometimes exhibit different colors.
- Diameter- If a mole has a diameter greater than ¼ of an inch, it’s more likely to be cancerous.
- Evolving- Most moles are static, meaning they don’t change. With cancerous moles, however, the shape may change with time.
If you live in or near Chicago, IL, and need a mole check, get in touch with North Branch Dermatology. You can reach Dr. Fahrenbach at (773) 763-6000.