Moles may take different shapes or sizes. Some may appear round, while others may appear oval. Still, some may be raised and others flat. Most moles appear as small dark brown spots on the skin. Abnormal moles, new moles or changes to existing moles should be examined by a physician to determine if it is cancerous. If you notice any of the possible symptoms of melanoma or other forms of skin cancer (new skin growth, changes to existing skin growths or sores that do not heal) consult a physician immediately.

ABCDE

This is a rule used to help determine if a mole or skin growth may be cancerous. 'A' stands for asymmetrical, 'B' for border irregularities, 'C' for color, 'D' for diameter and 'E' for evolving. Most melanomas are asymmetrical, have notches in their borders, have several hues of colors, are larger than 6mm in diameter and change, or evolve, over time.

If you notice any of these indications in a new or existing mole, consult a physician immediately. However, not all cancerous moles or skin growths have these features. Melanomas may be symmetrical, have normal borders, uniform in color and smaller than 6mm in diameter. It is best to have any abnormal or suspicious moles, or moles that change in any way, checked by a physician.

Make a List of Questions

You probably have a lot of questions about moles, melanoma and skin cancer in general. Make sure that you write down all of your questions so that you do not forget any of them during your appointment. A physician is the best resource for more information relating to moles and skin cancer so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to have your questions answered and concerns addressed.

If you are visiting a dermatologist to have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons, it may be worthwhile to ask about methods for covering up embarrassing moles. This is usually a cheaper option in the short-term, but may end up costing more than having the mole removed completely. Discuss all possibilities with the dermatologist.

Cancerous moles must be removed immediately. Subsequent appointments may be scheduled to check for cancer in other areas of the body as a precaution. Be sure to ask the doctor if there is anything you can do to prevent future cancerous moles.