Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Tests That are Commonly Used to Find Skin Cancer Include:

  • Skin exams – a doctor or nurse will check the skin for bumps or spots that look abnormal in color, size, shape, or texture
  • Skin biopsy – if needed, all or part of the abnormal-looking growth is cut from the skin. A doctor called a pathologist will look at the sample tissue under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. There are several types of biopsies that may be used depending on the cancer and its location.
If the disease is more advanced, other diagnostic tests may be added, including CT or PET scans and perhaps other lab work. 

Take Note Tip:
Remember that prevention is always the best medicine. That means doing the best you can to avoid being in the sun when it is at its strongest. Always apply sunscreen, wear sun hats and sunglasses and ask about yearly skin checks.

As always, talk with your health care provider if you notice anything unusual on your skin, or if you have a sore or patch of skin that won’t heal. 

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