Moles are induced when cells called melanocytes in the skin grow abnormally in clusters. Melanocytes are found throughout the skin and are the primary reason for producing melanin, the natural pigment that gives skin its color.
Melanoma is the major complication of moles. Few exceptionals have a higher-than-average risk of their moles becoming cancerous and developing into melanoma. Factors that influence melanoma risk to increase:
- Large moles by Birth: Some newborn babies bear the large moles in their body, also known as congenital nevi. For an infant, such moles are classified as significant if they’re more than 2 inches in diameter. Such moles have more significant tendencies to evolve as cancerous.
- Unusual moles. Large moles and irregular shapes are generally atypical (dysplastic) nevi. They occur due to genetics and tend to run in families.
- Numerous moles. Inducing more than 50 moles within one’s body indicates an increased risk of melanoma and possibly breast cancer.
- Family history of melanoma. If you earlier have had melanoma, you probably are at increased risk of a mole becoming cancerous. In addition, if your ancestor had types of atypical nevi that lead to a genetic form of melanoma.