How are Moles and Skin Cancer Linked?
There are several types of skin cancer that involve either the growth of new moles or changes in existing moles, so moles and skin cancer are actually linked together.
Skin cancer is one of the most common of all forms of cancers that humans can develop. Cancer involves a transformation of normal cells where they multiply and grow beyond their normal controls. They form a mass known as a tumor.
The relationship between moles and skin cancer most commonly exists in bodies that have malignant melanoma, which is an extremely invasive and aggressive form of cancer. Malignant tumors are tumors that invade and encroach upon neighboring tissues as they grow uncontrollably throughout the body.
Metastasis is the process that cancer takes when invading the body. Benign cancers do not metastasize, but malignant cancers tend to grow uncontrollably, slowly taking over the entire body to cause long term death and destruction to healthy tissues and organs.
Malignant melanoma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that spreads from one part of the body to another. If it is not treated early and aggressively, it can spread be fatal. Some cancers start as precancerous lesions, while others form in new moles or on existing moles.
These are the most commonly changes in the skin. They do not begin as cancer, but become cancer over time. Nevus is the medical term for a mole. Dysplastic nevi are moles that are abnormal. These abnormal moles can develop into melanoma over time if not treated early.
Moles or nevi are simply growths that exist on the skin, and they are actually rather common. Very few moles actually ever develop into cancer, but that does not mean that they will be normal moles forever.
The average person has between 10-40 moles all over their body, and while some moles are flat, others are raised. Some moles may begin flat but may become raised over time. Moles that are round or oval and smooth, but that eventually change in color, shape, size or orientation need to be checked out by your doctor.
While many moles are completely benign in nature, moles and skin cancer are still related and it is important to monitor the moles on your body to make sure that none of them are changing over time.
Dysplastic nevi, which are moles that are abnormal in nature, are not naturally cancerous.
However, there is always the possibility that any abnormal mole can turn into cancer in time. People who have dysplastic nevi often have a large number of them, and people who have many of these abnormal moles are more likely to develop melanomas.
Melanomas can be developed in already existing moles, or in an area of normal skin that will develop into an abnormal mole. For this reason, it is important to understand the correlation between moles and skin cancer, because if you have a lot of moles, especially dysplastic nevi, there is a chance that skin cancer will eventually develop.
You must be observant and check your skin on a regular basis. Melanoma is very serious if not diagnosed early and treated. If it is diagnosed too late, the results are usually death, because it is spread and there is no treatment.
Skin Cancer: A Patient’s Guide to Skin Cancer and Melanoma
by: Amanda Blackwell
publisher: Digital Direct Ebooks, published: 2012-05-11
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.
Anyone can get skin cancer, but it is more common in people who:
* Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned
* Have light-colored skin, hair and eyes
* Have a family member with skin cancer
* Are over age 50
You should have your doctor check any suspicious skin markings and any changes in the way your skin looks. Treatment is more likely to work well when cancer is found early. If not treated, some types of skin cancer cells can spread to other tissues and organs.
Even though skin cancer is more common among people with a light (fair) skin tone, skin cancer can affect anyone. Skin cancer can affect both men and women.
Although dark skin does not burn in the sun as easily as fair skin, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. Even people who don’t burn are at risk for skin cancer. It doesn’t matter whether you consider your skin light, dark, or somewhere in between. You are at risk for skin cancer. Being in the sun can damage your skin. Sunlight causes damage through ultraviolet, or UV rays, (they make up just one part of sunlight). Two parts of UV, UVA and UVB, can both cause damage to skin. Also, the sun isn’t the only cause of skin cancer. There are other causes. That’s why skin cancer may be found in places on the body never exposed to the sun.
21st Century Adult Cancer Sourcebook: Melanoma (Skin Cancer) – Clinical Data for Patients, Families, and Physicians
by: National Cancer Institute
publisher: Progressive Management, published: 2011-10-27
sales rank: 845618
Authoritative information and practical advice from the nation’s cancer experts about melanoma includes official medical data on signs, symptoms, early detection, diagnostic testing, risk factors and prevention, treatment options, surgery, radiation, drugs, chemotherapy, staging, biology, prognosis, and survival, with a complete glossary of technical medical terms and current references.
Starting with the basics, and advancing to detailed patient-oriented and physician-quality information, this comprehensive in-depth compilation gives empowered patients, families, caregivers, nurses, and physicians the knowledge they need to understand the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma.
Comprehensive data on clinical trials is included – with information on intervention, sponsor, gender, age group, trial phase, number of enrolled patients, funding source, study type, study design, NCT identification number and other IDs, first received date, start date, completion date, primary completion date, last updated date, last verified date, associated acronym, and outcome measures.
Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin cells called melanocytes (cells that color the skin). Melanocytes are found throughout the lower part of the epidermis. They make melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes make more pigment, causing the skin to tan, or darken. Melanocytes are in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. The skin has 2 main layers: the epidermis (upper or outer layer) and the dermis (lower or inner layer). When melanoma starts in the skin, the disease is called cutaneous melanoma. This is about cutaneous (skin) melanoma. Melanoma may also occur in the eye and is called intraocular or ocular melanoma.
There are 3 types of skin cancer:
* Basal cell skin cancer.
* Squamous cell skin cancer.
Melanoma is more aggressive than basal cell skin cancer or squamous cell skin cancer. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. In men, melanoma is often found on the trunk (the area from the shoulders to the hips) or the head and neck. In women, melanoma often develops on the arms and legs. Melanoma usually occurs in adults, but it is sometimes found in children and adolescents. Unusual moles, exposure to sunlight, and health history can affect the risk of developing melanoma.
Extensive supplements, with chapters gathered from our Cancer Toolkit series and other reports, cover a broad range of cancer topics useful to cancer patients. This edition includes our exclusive Guide to Leading Medical Websites with updated links to 81 of the best sites for medical information, which let you quickly check for updates from the government and the best commercial portals, news sites, reference/textbook/non-commercial portals, and health organizations. Supplemental coverage includes:
Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies
Glossary of Clinical Trial Terms
Clinical Trials Background Information and In-Depth Program
Clinical Trials at NIH
How To Find A Cancer Treatment Trial: A Ten-Step Guide
Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies
Access to Investigational Drugs
Clinical Trials Conducted by the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Taking Time: Support for People with Cancer
Facing Forward – Life After Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy and You
Is That Just A Mole – Or Early Signs of Skin Cancer?
We all have at least some moles on our skin. Do you know which moles are normal, and which could be signs of trouble? This year, more than one million Americans will get some form of skin cancer, and in many cases, moles could have served as early warning signs.
Skin Cancer – Changes in Skin, Moles: Darker, Itchy, Scratchy, Irregular. Get Screening
Dr. John Turner explains when to visit your doctor when it comes to skin cancer. The most common is a mole that changes its appearance or color. Moles that grow darker, become irregular or become and itchy and scratchy. An annual screening for skin cancer is important, as well as wearing sunscreen. Dr. Turner is available at HCA Virginia´s CJW Medical Center is Richmond, Virginia: cjwmedical.com . HCA Virginia´s HealthBreak Putting You First.
Suspicious Moles and Skin Cancer
Dermatologist Dr. Irwin discusses suspicious moles, what the warning signs of skin cancer and melanoma are, and when to go see your dermatologist. Learn more about moles and skin cancer at: www.skintour.com