DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mole excision. Doctor about to remove a pigmented naevus, commonly known as mole, from the abdomen of a patient. Pigmented naevi are caused by abnormality or overactivity of the skin cells known as melanocytes, which produce the brown pigment melanin. Moles are brown to dark brown in colour; they are uncommon at birth and develop during childhood and young adulthood. Most naevi are harmless and do not require treatment. However, in some cases they degenerate into cancerous formations, known as melanomas, and might then require a surgical removal.
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