Moles have been known to be one of the indicators of skin cancer. Does this mean that a mole under breast could be a sign of breast cancer? Well, this may be true in some cases. If you find moles under your breast, you may be at a higher risk of having breast cancer. If the moles under your breast are more than six, your chances of having cancer may increase by as much as 13 percent. This is not just an assumption. Experts have proven this through research. You can’t possibly say that a factor that increases risk up to 13 percent is just a coincidence. There definitely is a link between moles and breast cancer.
Do you know that the more moles you have under your breast, the higher your risk of breast cancer? If the moles under your breast are less than six, your chances of having cancer are 4 percent higher than that of a woman who has no moles at all. If the moles are between six and fourteen, your risk increases by about 15 percent. And if the moles are more than fourteen, your risk for breast cancer would have increased by 35 percent. Now, that’s huge!
What You Should Know About Moles
Moles are a fairly common type of growth on the skin growth. Usually, they are small in size and appear as dark brown colored spots. They develop due to a clustering of pigmented cells on an area of your skin.
In general, moles would appear during the stage of childhood or during adolescence. They are usually scattered all around the body and can be anywhere between 10 and 40 in number. Some of those moles may eventually fade away as you grow older or their appearance may change.
Most of the moles you will ever have would have developed before you are 50 years old. Moles may appear differently on the bodies of different people. They may appear differently on different parts of your body. They may vary in size, shape, and color. Even their texture may vary.
Some moles appear dark brown, while some may have a tan color. Other possible colors include red, black, pink, or blue. A mole may be smooth or wrinkled. It may be raised and it may be flat. Hair may even grow on some moles. They vary a lot in their presentation, but they are for the most part harmless.
Some moles, especially those that are present from the time of birth can be so large that they cover wide areas on the body. A mole can cover a large portion of the face, hands, legs, or torso.
Moles that are present from the time of birth are called congenital nevi. “Nevi” is the medical terminology for moles. So don’t be surprised if your healthcare provider is talking about Nevi instead of moles.
Moles can grow on any part of your body, including your armpits. That looks like a very unlikely place, right? They may develop on your scalp, in-between your toes and fingers, beneath your nails, and of course under your breast.
How Mole under Breast Relates To Breast Cancer
Moles have a very strong link to hormonal changes in your body. That’s why moles usually change in size and appearance during times like adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause where hormonal changes are bound to occur.
Hormone levels also play a huge role in the development of breast cancer. That seems to be where the correlation between moles and breast cancer comes from.
Experts have found out that a woman who has more than five moles after her breast has higher levels of certain hormones in her blood. These hormones are specifically testosterone and estrogen.
Women who have many moles have higher levels of progesterone and estrogen in their blood compared to the women who have no moles. Meanwhile, high levels of these two hormones are known risk factors for the development of breast cancer.
So then, higher levels of progesterone and estrogen increase the risk of breast cancer. It seems also that the levels of these two hormones, especially estrogen, also have an effect on the development of moles.
In essence, this means that moles in themselves do not cause breast cancer in any way. But the fact that you have many moles under your breast may be a sign that you have higher levels of estrogen in your blood.
Experts are still exploring the facts about this link. They hope that in the future, it may be possible to calculate your risk of breast cancer based on the number of moles you have under your breast.
But then there are some other known risk factors for breast cancer that you should pay attention to. Unlike the number of moles, which is still being researched, these risks are already established. They are as follows:
- Family history of breast cancer
- Age (50 and above)
- The density of your breast
- Your pregnancy history
- Your breastfeeding history
- Certain genetic markers
How to Recognize a Cancerous Mole
Moles can sometimes become cancerous. This type of cancer is called melanoma and it can also develop on the breast as well as on any area of your skin. There is no form of cancer that is as dangerous as a melanoma. Meanwhile, it is the most common of all types of cancer.
If you have more than 50 moles on your body, there are higher chances that you may have melanoma. Here are five ways to know if a mole is cancerous. They follow the acronym ABCDE:
A is for Asymmetry
If you try to divide the mole with an imaginary line along its middle, is it symmetrical? If you can’t get two almost equal halves by doing this, it may be a cause for concern. The mole may be cancerous.
B is for Border
Non-cancerous moles usually have a regular border that is somewhat smooth. In general, if the mole is cancerous, the border will uneven or rough.
C is for Color
A normal mole is usually just one color. It doesn’t change colors. However, a melanoma may show some color change ranging from different brown to different shades of black, tan, red, blue, and many other colors.
D is for Diameter
Generally speaking, melanomas usually have a larger diameter. So you should watch larger moles more closely.
E is for Evolving
Melanomas do not only change colors, but they also change in size, shape, and/or elevation. They may also develop new symptoms like bleeding, itching, crusting, and so on. You should visit your doctor as these signs could mean danger.
In summary, not every mole under the breast is a sign of breast cancer. But pay close attention to any unusual signs in old moles, as well as the development of new moles.