What does it mean when a mole is precancerous?

What is a precancerous mole?

A precancerous skin lesion is a growth that can carry the same mutations present in fully manifested skin cancers, but to a lesser extent. The most common type of skin precancer is called actinic keratosis (AK).

How is a precancerous mole treated?

With excision, your surgeon will use a scalpel to cut around the precancerous skin spot in order to remove it. Once the top layer is cut and removed, your surgeon will examine the underlying layers and remove any other affected cells. The treatment area will then be closed with stitches while the wound heals.

What does a precancerous spot mean?

Precancerous skin growths develop on skin that’s gotten lots of sun over the years. If you haven’t protected your skin from the sun, you may have precancerous skin growths. Called AKs, these growths usually appear after 40 years of age.

Is precancerous bad?

What are pre-cancerous changes? “Precancer means there isn’t cancer there yet, but if you don’t monitor or do something about it, it may develop into cancer,” King said. These changes do not mean you’re on the brink of a serious illness. In fact, many women are told that they have precancerous cervical cells.

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Should I worry about precancerous moles?

The larger the mole, the more likely it is precancerous. If a mole is larger than five millimeters, it should be evaluated by a doctor. Even if it is not ultimately a form of skin cancer, it may still cause health problems that deserve the attention of a professional.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

Is precancerous the same as benign?

Benign: These are not cancerous. They either cannot spread or grow, or they do so very slowly. If a doctor removes them, they do not generally return. Premalignant: In these tumors, the cells are not yet cancerous, but they have the potential to become malignant.

Does atypical mean precancerous?

Breast anatomy

Atypical hyperplasia is a precancerous condition that affects cells in the breast. Atypical hyperplasia describes an accumulation of abnormal cells in the milk ducts and lobules of the breast. Atypical hyperplasia isn’t cancer, but it increases the risk of breast cancer.

What does precancer look like?

This nonmelanoma skin cancer may appear as a firm red nodule, a scaly growth that bleeds or develops a crust, or a sore that doesn’t heal. It most often occurs on the nose, forehead, ears, lower lip, hands, and other sun-exposed areas of the body.

How long before precancerous cells become cancerous?

These aren’t cancer cells, but cells that may turn cancerous if left untreated for many years. It takes 10-15 years for pre-cancer to progress to cancer.

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How can I get rid of precancerous spots?

Treatment for an actinic keratosis may include:

  1. Cryotherapy. This treatment freezes the lesion.
  2. Topical chemotherapy. This is medicine applied to the skin.
  3. Laser surgery. This can remove lesions from the face and scalp, and actinic cheilitis from the lips.
  4. Other treatments.

What does a precancerous skin biopsy mean?

If your dermatologist tells you that you have a precancerous skin growth, it means one thing. Your skin has been badly damaged by the sun, indoor tanning, or both. The good news is that it’s not too late to do something about this damage and protect your health.