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Normal mole or skin cancer

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I have a fairly large mole on my right shoulder blade. I first noticed it about four years ago. But it seems to me that it may has gotten bigger recently, and the color has changed to darker. To explain the mole it is quite large, bigger than a pencil eraser head. A brownish-pink color. Mostly round although it seems to have taken an oval shape recently. It is mostly flat except towards the bottom half where there is a small uncolored bump to it, then the mole puckers inward from below the bump to the end of the mole. My GP noticed it 3 years ago at a physical exam, and asked about how long its been there, then just said "thats strange" and that was the end of it. Is this just a normal old mole?

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replied March 26th, 2009
Skin Cancer Answer A6152
The characteristics of moles that are msot concerning for melanoma include asymmetry (i.e., irregular shape or borders), bleeding or itching, inconsistent coloring (especially patches of white, red, blue, or very dark black pigmentation within a generally lighter colored mole), increasing size, inconsistent height (some areas more elevated than others), and spread of the mole's pigment (color) into the surrounding skin. Please also note that some melanomas are not pigmented at all (amelanotic melanoma), and these melanomas may be the same color as the surrounding skin.

Basically, if your mole has any of the above features, or appears to be changing in any other way, then it should be biopsied by a dermatologist or surgeon to rule-out melanoma.


Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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