Difference between a mole and a melanoma

How to recognize the difference between a mole and a melanoma?

In recent decades, the incidence of melanoma has increased considerably in the world, to become a public health problem. That he has gotten to represent 2.5% of all cancers and is responsible for 1-2% of deaths from cancer.

Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytic and is the most common cause of death in cutaneous diseases. 41% of melanomas are diagnosed before 55 years, this being an important rnuy cancer in relation to the reduction in life expectancy of patients.

Those with fair skin, blond or red hair are most affected; unlike brunettes as people who have an incidence 10 times lower. At present, 50% of cases of melanoma occur in people under 50 years and 35% of them under 35 years.

Another interesting fact is that 95% of melanomas develop in the skin, but also can develop in other places, such as the eye and oral or genital mucosa; and 3% of patients develop occult melanoma (metastatic disease with no evidence of primary tumor). For these reasons, it is essential to identification of risk factors for the development of melanomas, as it allows to optimize primary prevention and early recognition. These can be divided into individual factors, genetic and environmental. The individual factors include genetic and skin type (color) of the skin, the number of melanocytic nevi, the presence of congenital nevi and atypical nevi. In addition to personal or family history of cutaneous cancer. In contrast, among the environmental factors are the exposition to ultraviolet radiation, the decrease in the ozone layer, diseases or medications associated immunosuppression.


Epidemiological studies suggest that the exposition to radiation from ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB) is one of the main causes in the appearance of melanoma, thus is more prevalent in those with frequent and intense sun exposure. In turn, the use of tanning beds with UV piercing has been associated with the appearance of skin cancer, including melanoma.

These radiations cause damage to the DNA of cells, and when the cell divides, these mutations are propagated to new generations of cells. If the mutation occurs just on tumor suppressor genes, the rate of cell division or mitosis becomes uncontrolled, leading to the formation of a tumor.


For clinical diagnosis, we have implemented the system ABCDE melanoma. So, when a nevus is Asimetrico, has some irregular edges, making a very dark or irregular Coloration, its diameter increases and raises with a quick Evolution are signs of melanoma, so you should see a doctor.

The most obvious changes of a suspicious lesion of melanoma are increasing in the size of the lesion and discolouration. The elevation, pruritus and the presence of ulceration or bleeding, occur in advanced lesions.

You can also submit a discoloration around the lesions, which is called halo regression, and must be taken into account when assessing a patient. Approximately 2% to 8% of non-pigmented melanomas. To successfully treat melanoma, the most important is its early diagnosis. Most of them can be detected clinically by careful and detailed examination should be performed by a dermatologist. In addition to the clinical examination, the realization of dermoscopy, which can be increased by devices or by computerized digital analysis of pigmented lesions is recommended. When you suspect a skin lesion as melanoma, the realization of a histological study was suggested by the practice of extirpation biopsy, including the entire lesion with a narrow margin of healthy skin.

PREVENT An early detection allows the surgical extirpation of melanomas. In addition, if a perlodo of 3-5 was not reproduced melanoma, the chances of relapse are minimal. Prevention measures should include education on sun protection and sunscreen use, especially in children and adolescents, such as the utilization of caps or hats, high protection creams as well as sunbathing in a gradual way and avoid the hours of more intense irradiation.

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