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Precancerous lesions

Like many cancers, skin cancers start as precancerous lesions. These precancerous lesions are changes in skin that are not cancer but could become cancer over time. Medical professionals often refer to these changes as dysplasia. Some specific dysplastic changes that occur in skin are as follows:
Actinic keratosis a patch of red or brown, scaly, rough skin, which can develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Prevention is to cut sun exposure and wear sunscreen. Treatments include performing cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen), cutting the keratoses away, burning them or putting 5-fluorouracil on them. Also known as solar keratosis and senile keratosis.

A congenital melanocytic nevus, or birthmark, is a type of mole found in infants at birth. It’s usually larger in diameter than those that occur later in life, and may present an excess amount of hair. Some of these moles are removed for cosmetic reasons, and giant nevi are often excised to prevent cancer, as 5 to 15 percent of giant congenital melanocytic nevi may develop into melanoma.  Small and medium nevi have less than a 5% chance of developing into melanoma.

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There are three types of Congenital Melanocytic Nevus. Giant congenital melanocytic nevus are greater than 20cm diameter and sometimes referred to as bathing trunk nevi due to size and distribution. They darkly pigmented and sometimes hairy. The medium-sized congenital melanocytic nevus, characterized as having a diamater larges than 2 centimeters but smaller than 20 centimeters. The small-sized congenital melanocytic nevus,characterized as having a diamater smaller than 2 centimeters

Dysplastic nevus syndrome: A skin condition characterized people who have a greater number of moles than the average person (usually greater than 50) and numerous atypical nevi and moles, which may develop into melanomas. The nevi and moles vary in size, shape and color and tend to develop during adolescence or young adulthood. Thus, it is important that patients with dysplastic moles be monitored carefully and examined regularly by a dermatologist so that any suspicious spot be spotted very early and removed before it can cause any damage. Mole mapping is an effective way to keep track of your moles and monitor your skin for any signs of skin cancer.

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