When should one get a mole biopsied?
When is the right time to get a biopsy performed on a mole? I have a mole on my upper chest that may have been changing size over the last few years.
Questions about a mole or new skin lesion are best answered by a dermatologist. In general, the guidelines for when to seek medical care about a mole or skin lesion can be summarized in the acronym ABCDE. A stands for asymmetry. If you were to draw a line through the center of a mole or freckle and the two halves were not symmetrical, you should consult a physician for evaluation. B stands for border. If the border of the mole is blurry or or jagged, you should see a physician. C stands for color. Normal freckles or moles or typically one color throughout. Normal freckles and moles are typically a single color throughout. D stands for diameter. If a mole changes suddenly in size, it should be checked by a physician. Likewise, a physician should be aware of any mole or skin lesion that is larger than about 1/4 of an inch (5mm or so). some moles can be larger than this, but they should not change in size over time. E stands for elevation. A normal mole or freckle will be flat. If the surface becomes elevated or protruding, it should also be evaluated by a dermatologist. Any one or combination of these changes should prompt a visit with a dermatologist for evaluation and likely biopsy.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.
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