People who have lots of unusually shaped or large moles - known as atypical mole
syndrome - have a higher risk of melanoma than the general population," explains Mr Ghazavi.
AN ATYPICAL MOLE
ON THE LEFT CALF was brought to the attention of a primary care physician by a 36-year-old man during a full physical.
The risk of an atypical mole
becoming a melanoma is estimated to be 1 in 200,000.
Statistically, people with Atypical Mole
Syndrome are more at risk of developing one or more MM, so BAD and other expert sources suggest regular self-checking of the skin by people with this condition, which is often hereditary.
A child with atypical nevi who has two immediate relatives with a history of melanoma may have familial atypical mole
She cited the case of a 64-year-old patient who desired a p16 genetic test because of a personal history of melanoma and atypical mole
The mole on the left is a harmless atypical mole
that should be watched closely for change, whereas the mole on the right is cancerous.
Regardless, dermatologists should always do complete skin examinations and follow up any atypical moles
, Pampena stressed.
In general, normal moles, those small, brown "beauty marks" that appear on almost everyone to some extent, are less concerning than atypical moles
, which may actually resemble a melanoma in appearance.
Risk factors for skin cancers include fair skin, increasing age, numerous and/or atypical moles
, precancerous skin lesions, a history of excessive sun exposure, a family or personal history of skin cancer, the use of tanning devices, sunny climates, a weakened immune system and prior exposure to toxins or x-ray treatment.
Primary care clinicians should be aware that fair-skinned men and women older than 65 years, patients with atypical moles
, or those with more than 50 moles are groups that are known to be at a substantially increased risk for melanoma.
Studies have identified risk factors for melanoma in the pediatric population, and the major risk factors include a family history of melanoma, having more than 100 moles, and having atypical moles