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Recognizing the Difference between Normal Moles and Melanoma Cancer

Basically, everyone has moles on their body. Although this condition is not something dangerous, there are other conditions that are similar, such as moles, which are a sign of skin cancer. So, how do you tell the difference? Check out the explanation in the following review.

Recognizing the Difference between Normal Moles and Melanoma Cancer

How to Distinguish Normal Moles from Cancer

Melanoma is a common type of skin cancer. This condition occurs when cancer cells develop in melanocytes (cells that produce melanin—the pigment that gives skin its color).

The initial symptoms of its appearance can be a new mole or a change in the appearance of an existing mole.

Its shape is similar to a mole, so this cancer is often ignored. In fact, melanoma is classified as dangerous and should receive special attention.

Therefore, knowing the difference between cancerous moles and normal moles is important to know.

It is important to know, you can observe a lump that is cancer by referring to the alphabetical order A to E: asymmetry, border, color, diameter, And elevation.

More specifically, some differences that can be noticed, including:

1. Shape

Moles that indicate cancer are usually asymmetrical. One part may be different from another, both in terms of size, shape, and thickness.

In contrast to normal moles which will appear more symmetrical or neatly circular. If you draw a line down the middle of the two sides, the shape will match in both color and thickness.

Also Read: 8 Types of Skin Cancer to Watch Out for

2. Sides

The difference between cancerous and normal moles can be seen from borders or the side. In common moles, the sides have smooth margins and tend to be the same.

Meanwhile, moles that are a sign of skin cancer usually have untidy sides, tend to be wavy, and jagged.

3. Color

Melanoma has various colors, such as brown, black, white, red, or blue. In addition, the color of a mole which is a skin cancer can be a mixture of two or more colors.

Meanwhile, the condition is classified as normal if the color of the mole is consistent overall. This means, only one color, not different.


You can also tell the difference between a mole that is cancerous and not by looking at the size of the lump. If a mole is classified as normal, its diameter is usually under 6 mm.

Meanwhile, melanoma is usually larger or more than 6 mm in diameter. It’s important to remember that a large mole is not necessarily a melanoma.

5. High

In addition to diameter, the difference between skin cancer and normal moles can be seen from the height of the lump.

An ordinary mole will look flat. You won’t even feel its presence when you run your finger over it.

Meanwhile, you tend to feel its presence with melanoma. Even though it looks flat at first, over time the lump increases with the development of cancer in this part of the skin.

Also Read: Get to know the characteristics of skin cancer based on its type

Confirm the condition by consulting a doctor

If after observing the symptoms, the condition you are experiencing tends to lead to melanoma, immediately check with your doctor to get the right diagnosis.

The doctor will carry out a series of examinations to determine whether the mole that you have is normal or is indeed a symptom of skin cancer.

Initially, the doctor will likely do a physical examination and look for signs of skin cancer. The doctor is also likely to ask about the symptoms experienced and medical history.

After that, if the condition leads to melanoma, the doctor will do a biopsy. This is the act of taking tissue samples in the skin to identify the presence of cancer cells.

The procedure will be adjusted to your health condition. Likewise with the act of removing a mole that is suspected of being a melanoma.

Now, those are some differences between cancerous and normal moles that you should recognize. In order to avoid skin cancer on this one, avoid several trigger factors.

Although the exact cause of this condition is not known for certain, exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can increase your risk of developing melanoma.

Therefore, make sure to avoid exposure to direct sunlight in hot weather. You can also reduce exposure by applying sunscreen regularly.

  1. Anonymous. Diagnosis of skin cancer (melanoma). (Accessed 27 February 2023).
  2. Anonymous. Symptoms of Skin Cancer (Melanoma). (Accessed 27 February 2023).
  3. Anonymous. 2022. Melanoma. (Accessed 27 February 2023).
  4. Brannon, Heather L. 2022. Normal Moles vs. Melanoma: What to Look for in a Self-Exam. (Accessed 27 February 2023).

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