Thursday, 26 October 2017

WHEN SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED ABOUT A MOLE?


Moles are surprisingly common. No, we are not talking about the cute, furry variety that lives in underground tunnels with their poor eyesight and wrecks your garden. Rather, we are discussing skin moles: those small brown spots most people have. Unfortunately, although moles are commonplace and most are benign, some do turn out to be malignant, and if left undetected can cause serious problems

So, when should you worry about a mole on your face or body?

Some people only have one or two moles. Other people, typically those with fairer skin, can be covered in moles and freckles. It really doesn’t matter how many moles you have. All it takes is one mole to become cancerous for your life to turn upside down. This post isn’t meant to alarm you or put the fear of God into you, it is all about raising awareness and your sense of responsibility to yourself. I, too, am guilty of missing regular appointments, I can’t tell you the last time I went to the dentist, and with becoming an adulthood you have to remember your health, mental and physical, are the most important things. You are important and thus you should make yourself a priority.


REGULAR CHECK-UPS

On that note, moles should be checked monthly. Sure, it’s a bit of a bind, especially if you have hundreds of them, but vigilance is important. The more aware you are, the more likely you are to spot any changes that indicate all is not well. It can be difficult to schedule appointments with your GP in this day and age, schedules are packed and waking up at 7am to ring constantly every minute until someone finally answers is just not realistic. Try and set up a standing monthly appointment for your moles and I cannot think why any GP would not be recipient and accommodating to that. You can also go to walk-ins or book privately if your concern is heightened.

ABCDE TECHNIQUE

Look for changes to a mole’s colour, shape, and size. Be alert to new moles that suddenly appear or moles that begin to bleed or are painful. Experts recommend that we use the ABCDE technique:
  • A’ stands for asymmetry. If a mole changes shape and is no longer regular or looks different: have it checked out.
  • B’ is for border. Suspect moles have an undefined, blurry border
  • C’ is for colour. Normal moles are all one colour, usually a shade of brown. It doesn’t matter what colour your mole is, but if it changes colour or one part of the mole is a different colour, book an appointment with a private dermatologist such as Cedars in London. They should put your mind at rest or order further tests if there is something to worry about. 
  • D’ stands for diameter. Larger moles are more likely to turn cancerous. Moles larger than 6mm in diameter should be monitored to changes. Be alert to changes in size, too. If a small mole grows, have it examined by a professional. Get a friend to measure it as well, an objective eye can be extremely helpful in these situations. 
  • E’ means evolution. In other words, any of the above changes to an existing mole are cause for concern, as is the appearance of a new mole. 
In summary, a large, raised, irregularly shaped mole with blurred borders and speckled with different colours is a large red flag for an experienced dermatologist. Moles that look different to other moles are also a concern, especially if they have only recently appeared.  


FAMILY HISTORY

Melanoma often runs in families, which suggests there is a hereditary link. Whilst this doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to develop skin cancer, it does increase your risk. Your GP should always be aware of your family history, if this is not information they are privy to ensure they are informed at your next appointment. This could help you out in the future, we all have a lot going on and so things do fall by the wayside. Having a regular check-up, updating your family history and simply taking care of yourself are basic things that sometimes we forget to do but could actually save our lives.

HOW SERIOUS?

After reading this, you are probably panicking. But, you don’t need to and this is of course not the intention of this post. We are not trying to scare you silly; we just want to encourage you to be vigilant. If melanomas are caught before they spread, five-year survival rates are 98%. Unfortunately, although melanoma only accounts for 1% of all skin cancers in the United States, it causes most deaths because it very often remains undetected until it has spread to other organs. The important thing to remember and take from this post is it is easily preventable.


Don’t be another grim statistic. Check your moles once a month and have any suspicious moles examined by a specialist. Not to sound like a L’Oreal commercial, but, you are genuinely worth it

Please pass this information on to anyone you think needs to hear it. I, myself, have two moles and hae never paid much attention to them. I am the queen of ignoring all kinds of signs and symptoms and just pretending everything is okay so I don’t have to deal with it. The way I look at it now is what would my Mum do? My Mum took me to countless appointments when I was ill at school, scheduled time off and coaxed me to undergo several scans and more to make sure everything was all right. We should feel that way about ourselves. We shouldn’t think twice about the time and effort it takes to do something that could have such major implications, you can’t put a price on your peace of mind


Thank you so much for reading this sponsored post, I hope you find it helpful and at the very least acts as a reminder to take notice of what is going on with you. I feel like we are trained to push through as much as possible, no one has time to be sick anymore and that's simply not reality. Take full advantage of the NHS while we still have it, even though it can be such a hassle. Hope you are having an amazing week and this post didn't put you in a somber mood. Take care.

Do you have any moles/beauty spots or marks?

Love 
Kiran

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*This is a sponsored post, edited by me.
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24 comments

  1. We have long and extensive training about moles too so w can help advise customers to see a dermatologist if we see something suspicious.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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    1. That's great, good to hear! Thank you for reading Shireen x

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing this important info. My sons have lots of moles so I make sure the doctor checks them periodically.

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

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  3. Really interesting and very informative ! i don't have a lot of moles but it was good to know though

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  4. Great post - this is a really important topic! We have to be extra careful about this kind of thing here in NZ because there's a hole in the ozone layer which puts us at higher risk of skin cancer.

    Morgan | Hyacinth Girl

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    1. Yes! So important to be aware of this especially in climates such as that xx

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  5. I have many moles myself and had a few removed due to changes over the years. My dermatologist appointment is a yearly Thing, but I try and check them myself every month.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. That's really good Anne, so important to stay on top of this xx

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  6. It's so great you're spreading awareness about checking moles. I have quite a few and have started having annual checkups. I've already had to have 7 removed and so clearly it's important to have them looked at by professionals regularly!

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. Thank you! I couldn't agree more, would highly recommend check ups with a professional on a regular basis xx

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  7. Great post! I find it so easy to ignore my health matters. It really is important to get checked out.

    Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

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    Replies
    1. I'm the same! I need to be better about it though xx

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  8. Really informative post. They seem like such little things, it can be easy to forget about them if we're not careful. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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  9. What a wonderful and insightful post! This isn't a topic that's discussed as much as it should be, as I believe skin cancer is often overlooked as one that's not as prevalent, but that's rapidly changing. I can't agree more with your urge to check ourselves more and head to warning signs. When I was 19 years old, I ignored some major warning signs that indicated I had a breast tumor, which thankfully was benign. The earlier we can detect abnormalities, by being informed on what to look for, the better and healthier we'll be in the long run. Thanks again for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great week ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    THE STYLE CONTOUR

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    1. Oh my how scary! Thank you for sharing and reading Jalisa, hope you're having a great week! Xx

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  10. Thanks for sharing this info. Have a great day!

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely, hope you're well x

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