Although moles, which can be seen in all ages and genders and can be of different colors, shapes, diameters and structures, sometimes create more aesthetic concerns, they can also be the harbinger of much more important problems. Near East University Hospital, Department of Dermatology and Venereal Diseases Specialist Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz warns that moles can turn into skin cancer with some changes over time.
Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz emphasized that moles should be followed regularly and said, “Some changes in moles may be a sign of skin cancer. Although an increase in number, color change and growth can be observed in moles that have existed since childhood, rapid changes are considered as stimulating risk factors. In particular, factors such as rapid growth, darkening of color, resistant itching in moles that develop later are important stimuli.
Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaziz says that they should be careful by identifying people who are in the risk group for skin cancer. Stating that people with generally light eyes and skin color, freckles, a family history of skin cancer, especially those with more than 100 moles are in the risk group for skin cancer, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaziz says that immunocompromised patients and people from occupational groups such as farmers, sailors and construction workers who are exposed to intense sun during the day can also be included in the risk group.
How is my examination done?
Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz stated that in some moles, only hand dermatoscopy examination may be insufficient, and in this case, computerized dermatoscopy, that is, digital dermatoscope, is used. Explaining that all moles of the patients are photographed and recorded with digital dermatoscopy, and the risk level is determined by the scoring method, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz said that the moles in the risk group are followed up at certain time intervals, and it is recommended to remove the moles in which changes in color, shape, borders and sizes are detected during the follow-up process. Stating that there is a common and mistaken belief among the public that surgical intervention on moles will cause moles to spread and turn into a malignant form, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz emphasized that moles that are not intervened in time can lead to deadly skin cancers.
Pay attention to warning changes in moles
Stating that there are some stimulating changes in moles in terms of indicating the symptoms of skin cancer, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz said that asymmetry, edge irregularity, color diversity, rapid growth or swelling, and moles larger than 6 millimeters should be considered.
When is mapping required?
Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz also emphasized the importance of mole mapping in people with multiple moles and familial skin cancer history in areas that are difficult to follow, such as the back, inside the mouth, behind the ear, genital area, hips, scalp, nails, back of the legs, palms, soles. It says it needs to be mapped. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Mullaaziz emphasizes that a significant portion of malignant melanoma lesions, one of the cancer types, occur on the mole, and if this type of cancer spreads rapidly to the whole body without being treated, the chance of treatment is largely eliminated.
A self-exam at least once a year is a must!
Stating that self examination with a digital dermatoscopy device can be done easily in all age groups, there are no side effects or inconveniences, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Didem Mullaaziz says that people in the risk group should check their moles in front of the mirror once a month and go through a doctor's control at least once a year and emphasizes that if the doctor deems it necessary, the mole can be removed with early intervention and the health of the person can be protected.