Things to know about moles
Typical mole is a plain, brown spot. But, it can come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. They can be flesh-colored, medium to dark brown, reddish-brown or even blue and vary in shape from oval to round. It can be as small as a pinhead or large enough to cover an entire limb.
There are five general shapes of pigment moles: moles on the surface of the skin, little convex moles, papillomatous, dome-shaped, and moles that hang from the surface of the skin on a thin piece of tissue. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles and that number may vary throughout the life. New moles can appear in adulthood and because moles last about 50 years, some moles may disappear while you are getting older.
Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in the diagnosis of skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma. Autumn and winter are the best period to control your skin. Few things you must control: did mole grows, do the new ones appear, do they have abnormal or indented edge, is the color changed from brown to dark, dark blue to red, or is there any uneven pigmentation.
It is also important to check is mole larger than 0,6 cm (most of benign moles are less than 0,6 cm), is it lighted or red aged, did mole started to ascend or bleed, is it wet or has crust, does it itch, or does it hangs.
Moles most often appear within 20 and 60 years of age and they are equally distributed between both sexes. At women between 25 and 29 years old it is the most frequent malign tumors, and it's on the second place at women of 30 and 35 years of age (the breasts cancer is first). Women have moles most often on limbs, men on torso, but they can also appear under nails, between fingers and on the scalp.
Statistical data of American Cancer Society in The United States show that moles are among tumors with the best prognosis.
Exposing to the sun is often cited as risk factor for cancerous melanoma. For cancer tumor often backbite expose to the sun. Study of American navy shows that the most melanoma can be found at people who works all the time in closed spaces. Minimum cases are registered on those who work from time to time both in closed and opened location.
One study published in medicine magazine Lancet and one Russian study said that fluorescent light can cause even earlier development of melanoma than sun rays, of course proportionally to the time of exposure. Results are based on examples of 900 women that work in closed area under fluorescent light, and their risk for developing melanoma is 2,1 times higher. This research is 20 years old and until today nobody denies those results.
Why fluorescent light can cause melanoma? The cathode settled on the end emits X-rays and electromagnetic rays. Plants that live in the middle of long fluorescent lamp grow normally. But, if they are moved to the ends of the lamp their growth will be abnormal and scraggy.
Moles larger than 0,6 cm in diameter and present at birth are special problem. They may need to be removed in order to avoid the risk of malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. It can spread as metastasis by the lymph and then through the blood. At the highest risk are lungs, liver, bones, brain, spleen, adrenal glands, thyroid and hart mussels. Shortly, they are no organs in human body in which melanoma can't metastasis.
So, examine your skin carefully on a regular basis, monthly if you have a family history of melanoma, or every three months if you don't — to detect skin changes that may signal melanoma. ■