Melanoma Awareness

Cancerous Moles: Diagnosis and Treatment

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Team Molemap Creator
Posted 01/11/14

When cancerous moles are detected at the early stages of their development, they can be treated effectively. This is the reason why regular examinations of the skin are so important. Find out more about the melanoma growths, how they are diagnosed and how they are removed.


Cancerous Moles Identification

Tumours appearing on the skin are typically identified during regular checks. It is also possible for the patient to have noticed a suspicious change and to report it to their doctor. The first stage of the diagnosis process involves a physical examination of the mole. The dermatologist will look at it to see if it meets specific criteria. The doctor will also ask questions about your medical history and sun exposure.

Dermoscopy is performed as well. This examination involves the use of a non-invasive tool called dermoscope. It is a special lens which enables the dermatologist to examine the structure of the suspicious growth in greater detail.


Cancerous Moles Removal

Biopsy is done if the growth is determined to be dangerous. This is a surgical procedure intended to remove part of or usually the whole growth. The growth is then subjected to pathology analysis. This analysis is intended to confirm that the growth is cancerous.

The procedure involves very small incision. It is quite simple to perform and requires local anaesthesia only. It is typically performed by a dermatologist at their office. There is no need to visit or stay at a hospital.

Another surgery follows a biopsy which confirms the presence of cancerous moles. During this treatment, the doctor removes the wider area surrounding the cancerous growth. The doctor uses the pathology analysis to determine the size of the skin area which has to be removed through excision. This is done to ensure that there are no cancerous cells which may spread to the rest of the body at a later stage.

The part of the skin which has to be removed may be several centimetres wide. In order to ensure perfect wound closure and to prevent the appearance of a wide and deep scar, the surgeon can use specific techniques. These include flap and graft repairs. Both techniques are highly effective.

Finally, it is important to note that the surgical removal of cancerous moles is typically just the first stage of the treatment. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and possibly to other organs of the body, more surgeries will be necessary. The treatment can involve radio therapy and chemotherapy as well.