Should I Have This Looked At? The Potential Dangers of Moles

Moles on your skin are usually no big deal. They often appear during childhood and adolescence and can become lighter or darker as the years go by. However, sometimes what look to be common, harmless spots can be a sign of something far more dangerous—melanoma. If you think you have a growth that’s more than just a benign mark, it may be time for mole removal in Seattle with Dr. Greene.

The Cold, Hard Facts About Melanoma

According to the American Cancer Society, over 90,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and about 9,300 people are expected to die from this treatable cancer in 2018—with the rates of incidence steadily on the rise over the last 30 years. Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in people with fair skin, and more men than women have it by almost a two to one ratio. The risk of melanoma also increases as people get older, with the average age of diagnosis being 63. However, it’s not uncommon for people under 30 to get it—melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially among young women.

Have It Checked Out Sooner Than Later

Those stats show just how important it is to understand whether it’s a simple mole you’re looking at or something worse, and when it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Melanoma that’s caught early on is a highly treatable condition. That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends these invaluable bits of advice: 

  • A change to a mole or a new mole is often the first sign of melanoma.
  • You can find melanoma early by checking your own skin.
  • If you see a mole or other spot that’s growing, itching, bleeding, or changing in any way, immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

When in Doubt, Get It Out

If you’re mulling over mole removal because it’s causing problems or are merely taking  precautions, just have it removed. A great example of this is the singer Enrique Iglesias. You probably can’t even picture him without that trademark mole on his face, but it’s actually been years since he had it excised. It wasn’t so much out of vanity but more as a safety measure to protect himself against potential dangers of melanoma. In an interview with TV’s Access Hollywood, he said, “I went to the doctor one day and he said I could have it removed in five minutes. I thought about it and asked, ‘What are the consequences if I do it or if I don’t?’ I didn’t really care. But then the doctor told me that with time the mole could cause cancer, so I thought, ‘Oh, go ahead. Take it.”’

Mole Removal at Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle

Don’t leave up to chance what could be a potentially harmful mole. Let Dr. Greene personally help you determine if mole removal is right for you. He is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and can answer any questions or concerns you have about your skin. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and you’re interested in mole removal or any of the other medical or cosmetic procedures he offers, please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today.