Difference Between Mole and Skin Cancer: Be Informed Before It Is Late

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z


There are some medical conditions where you might be confused about what signs and symptoms are these for. In some cases even as mild as a seasonal cough symptom later turns out to be lung cancer stage. Similarily some of the moles on your body might not be a “beauty spot” but a sign of skin cancer developing.


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To make you aware and have a rather clear idea about both, we are here to give insights. The discussion will be over the difference between a mole and skin cancer.


What is a Mole?


Moles are a common type of skin growth. They often appear as small, dark brown spots and are caused by clusters of pigmented cells. Moles generally appear during childhood and adolescence. There are melanin deposits that appear on various portions of skins.


What is Skin Cancer?


When we talk about skin cancer, it is described as ” out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer, caused by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations. The main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).”


Difference Between a Mole and Skin Cancer


The fact that both have a similar appearance, you can spot the difference with the help of many signs. Some of them involve the following:


1) Frequency of Spots:


Well, you must have already guessed that moles are something from adolescent while cancer is not. To check yourself you must have regular checkups done in order to ensure that the irregular brown or black spots are not signs of melanoma. It must be used to differ from mole and skin cancer. a mole that is slightly raised above the surface of the skin.


2) Color Difference:


It is difficult to spot that otherwise. Some of the types of skin cancer that might be due to sun exposure are easy to spot. However, both mole and skin cancer of a certain type is related to melanin deposits, which further breaks the difference between mole and skin cancer.


In terms of colors, the brownish shade which spreads irregularly on your body can be a sign of cancer. In the case of moles, tan or brown skin discoloration.


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3) Size:


Moles are usually of very small size, that does not look weird on your skin. On the other hand, when it is about skin cancer you might see a more descriptive one. You will see a size that is more than the normal mole.


This is when you can distinguish between the two. Here is some major aspect that you have to keep in mind while you analyze.


(a) a uniformly 1 to 2 mm in diameter

(b) a larger skin discoloration,

(c) a pink or flesh-colored mole.


These are very much normal and moles can go through stages you might be able to notice.


4) Types of Cancer:


The difference between mole and cancer can very well be detected if the types are known.


Actinic: Actinic keratosis is a common precancerous growth often found on your scalp, face, hands, or forearms.

Basal Cell: Caused by sun damage and typically found on the face.

Squamous: This type of cancer often appears on the body, legs, or hands and is curable if caught early.

Melanoma: This type is usually found on legs and on faces and is dangerous enough if not caught at an early stage.


Difference between a mole and skin cancer are easy to spot if one can help oneself to be alert. Remember, melanoma can be cured if detected early, unlike many cancers. So knowing your risk factors and consulting your doctor may help you make a more informed lifestyle and health care choices.


If you have multiple moles or other risk factors, it is important that you perform regular self-examinations of your skin. You must see a dermatologist for regular examinations, and protect yourself from the sun. For any further information, you can always visit our website.


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