Because skin cancer is often linked to moles, many people may feel uncomfortable about these usually harmless growths. Moles are very common, with anywhere from ten to forty seen on the average person. A mole may be a number of different colors, from dark brown to light tan. They may be flat or raised. These growths are essentially unique from one person to another, only contributing to the confusion on whether a mole will lead to a skin cancer diagnosis. Huntington dermatologist Dr. Roger Koreen has treated thousands of people over more than two decades. Through detailed screening, he helps his patients determine whether further evaluation is needed.
Moles and skin cancer, how to tell the difference
One of the primary recommendations in dermatology is that we create the habit of monthly self-examination, during which familiarity with the various marks on the body is gained. The more familiar a person is with his or her skin, the more quickly he or she will be able to detect changes that could signify potentially abnormal cells. If a change is noticed in a mole, further evaluation can be scheduled right away, leading to the earliest possible treatment.
A true mole is one that is present at birth. Those that develop throughout life are indicative of some degree of sun damage. This does not mean, however, that every mole not present at birth is skin cancer. We look for change in a mole. A healthy mole will not change in color, size, or shape. Changes to the various characteristics of a mole, including texture, are red flags that should be examined more closely by a board certified dermatologist.
Professional skin cancer screenings, performed annually, in combination with monthly self-examinations, is the best way to protect your skin, and your health, from skin cancer. Dr. Koreen has twenty-plus years of experience and he has consulted with thousands of patients in his career. He understands that even the potential for skin cancer in an abnormal mole can be frightening. In our practice, patients can expect the highest standard of care and the latest, proven technology to detect and treat the various types of skin cancer. Call (631) 417-3300 to schedule your screening.