Moles are small growths on the body that usually cause no harm at all, but they can develop into cancerous growths in some cases. If you have a mole that you are worried about, or if you simply cannot stand the way it looks, you may want to look into mole removal. This is a safe procedure that can be used to remove any type of mole, on any part of the body, and here are three things you should know about mole removal.
Get It Examined
The first step you should take with this mole is to have it examined. Before a mole is removed, your doctor will want to find out if it is cancerous or not. According to the National Cancer Institute, most moles are not cancerous, but it is better to have one checked if you suspect trouble with it.
While most moles are harmless, it's a good idea to keep an eye on any moles you have on your body. Every week, look at your moles for changes. If a mole never changes in size, color, or appearance, it is most likely harmless. Anytime a mole changes, it's important to have it checked to find out why this is happening.
Get a Biopsy
Doctors are usually able to tell if a mole is harmless or not. If a doctor believes that a mole looks questionable, he or she may order a biopsy on the mole. A biopsy is a standard medical procedure that can be used to check the tissue on any irregularity found on the body. During a biopsy, the doctor will:
- Numb the area where it will be taken
- Clean the area thoroughly
- Make an incision in the mole
- Remove part of the tissue from the mole
- Place a bandage on the wound
The tissue sample is sent to a lab where it is analyzed. When the results come back, you will know whether the mole is cancerous or not. If it is not cancerous, you can still have it removed if you would like, but you won't have to.
If the mole is cancerous, you may need to undergo further evaluation to see if the cancer was limited to this area, or if it had spread through other parts of your body.
Get the Mole Removed
Going through with the mole removal is not a major process. It is actually a very minor type of procedure that is done routinely, and you will be awake during the entire process. There are three main ways doctors perform mole removal, which are to:
- Cut it off – Doctors are able to remove small moles by cutting them off. If the mole is deep, the doctor will have to go into the skin and remove the entire thing. Afterwards, the doctor may need to place a few stitches in the area to close it off.
- Freeze it off – Using liquid nitrogen to freeze a mole off is also an option for mole removal.
- Burn it off – The third method involves burning the mole off with electrolysis.
Depending on the size of the mole and the method used for removing it, you may end up with a scar. To minimize the scarring, your doctor will give you cream to place over it, but in the future you may want to look into scar removal services if the scar is unsightly.
Knowing your moles is a great way to detect cancer at an early stage, but you should remember that most moles are not cancerous. If you would like to learn more about mole removal, talk to your doctor today.