Mole Evaluation and Biopsy in New Jersey
Cindy Crawford and Marilyn Monroe were famous for theirs. Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Angelina Jolie have them, too. Moles are often considered a mark of beauty. They can also be an indicator of cancer.
Moles, or nevi, are clusters of pigment cells (called melanocytes) that develop in the skin. Most moles are harmless. Some, however, can develop into a potentially lethal form of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma.
If detected early, melanoma can be treated. The first sign of melanoma is often a change in a mole or the appearance of a new mole.
To evaluate whether a mole might be cancerous, dermatologists use the ABCDE system:
- Asymmetry - Does one half match the other half?
- Border - Is the border smooth and distinct, and not irregular or scalloped?
- Color - Is the color varied in one area or another, or unusually dark?
- Diameter - Lesions larger than a pencil eraser are more likely to be problematic.
- Evolving - Is it changing?
If we suspect a mole may be cancerous, a biopsy will be performed and the specimen evaluated. (A biopsy is the only way to accurately diagnose melanoma.)