When it comes to a halo nevus being a sign of skin cancer, which is known as melanoma the risk is very low. It is uncommon and even considered rare for the mole surrounded with a halo to be cancerous.
For some reason, these moles stimulate the immune system to remove it through a slow process of depigmentation. It is true that there are many of these moles that stay within their protective halo and never disappear but over half will eventually completely disappear. Benign skin lesions are rarely spoken of because they are boring, but a mole with melanoma cells is something to talk about, and melanoma is an attention grabber. Its desire to seek and get attention is a good thing because when skin cancer is diagnosed early survival rates dramatically rise.
Halo nevus is caught up in the whirlwind because at the center is a mole and the skin surrounding it is different from the mole and rest of the skin on the body. With only about 1% of the population has this type of mole and almost everyone in this population will wonder if it is a sign of cancer. All but a tiny percentage will find out their mole with the white halo is benign and halo nevus treatment is not necessary.
Giving a Cancerous Halo Nevus the Attention it deserves
Recognizing the difference between a common benign halo nevus and the symptoms of skin cancer are the first step in getting melanoma diagnosed early. These are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer:
- Mole that changes in color, shape, or texture
- Irregularity along the border of a mole
- Firm nodules
- Scaly, crusty patch of skin
If there is any question that the halo nevus may be cancerous, it is best to have a healthcare professional check it and do a biopsy if needed. If there are also enlarged lymph nodes, it is important to notify a healthcare professional promptly because it could be a sign of the cancer spreading. If the halo nevus is cancerous, the mole and surrounding tissue will need to be removed.
Removing Moles, Melanoma, and Halo Nevi
With modern medical technology removing skin lesions are often quick and relatively painless. There is always the risk of scarring or serious reaction to the procedure so it shouldn’t be jumped into no matter how good the option looks from afar. Commonly moles and moles with depigmented halos are allowed to live out their life out of the limelight because they are benign and are happy with little or no attention. An occasional check up by a physician is all that is needed.
In the case of melanoma, it is necessary to remove the cancerous cells. Laser or scalpel can do this. If a lot of skin must be removed then plastic surgery may be necessary. The American Cancer Society estimated over 75,000 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2013, and nearly 10,000 people will die from this type of cancer. Rarely will it begin with a halo nevus, but it can. As with any cancer early detection is the key to survival.
With or without the spotlight and a lot of attention, halo nevi will pop up on a small percentage of people. Rarely will any of them develop melanoma. This doesn’t excuse being diligent in monitoring all moles, blemishes, and skin lesions on the body. The best treatment is to accept the unique mark of this type of mole.