Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Diagnosis of Skin Cancer is very much depending on the biopsy methods. If you want to know the detail about the skin cancer then just follow this link what is Skin Cancer?

Test and method used in Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Normally the doctor starts screening process of skin cancer from the physical Examination.

Physical Exam and Medical history:

In order to find out the causes of Skin cancer, the doctor gathers different information from the patient by asking about the medical history, family history of cancer and   past illness.

The physical Exam is performed to check any kind of abnormalities and symptoms associated with skin cancer. The most apparent symptom of skin cancer is growth of skin lesion on the skin of patient.  The skin examination is done to get the information about the size, shape, color, and texture of the suspicious area. The doctor also checks the lymph nodes so that any swelling or sign of cancer is pinpointed.


It is the most affective way as through this doctor get the clear idea whether the cancer prevails with cancerous cell or non-cancerous cells. The sample of tissue or cells are taken from the cancerous area so that it is examined under microscope  by a pathologist .

Methods of Biopsy used in Skin Cancer:

The doctor can use any on of these methods of biopsy.

Shave biopsy: In this biopsy method, the doctor with the mean of a thin , sharp blade for shave off the abnormal growth. It is common method employed when the doctor suspected the presence of a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

Incisional biopsy: When a part of cancerous growth area is removed through a scalpel then it is named as incisional biopsy.

Excisional biopsy: This process is used  when the  doctor suspect melanoma .The doctor removes the entire growth and some tissue surrounding it with a scalpel. However it is less common.

Punch Biopsy: In this type of biopsy, the doctor takes a sample of abnormal growth area through a circular tool that is very much resemble to a cookie cutter.

Nail Bed: When the doctor suspects the abnormal growth under a fingernail or toenail then this method of biopsy is employed. The doctor removes a part of nail so that incisional or excisional biopsy can be administered.

Fine Needle Aspiration: This method is less common for skin cancer’s biopsy and more common when a sample of tissue is taken from lymph nodes and below skin.

Other tests used for Skin Cancer’s screening

In case of metastatic melanoma the doctor may go for other test that is helpful in diagnosis and screening process of skin cancer are as follows

  • LDH , a blood test
  • CT Scan/ Computed Tomography
  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • PET or Positron Emission Tomography Scan

Filed Under: Skin Cancer

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