Diagnosis of skin cancer
A dermatologist will conduct a skin examination to get a definitive Skin Cancer diagnosis. In most cases, the appearance is enough to make the diagnosis and move on to Skin Cancer treatment. A skin Biopsy is used to confirm the development of Skin Cancer. A local anesthetic like lidocaine is used to numb the area under the tumor and carry out the Biopsy. After using the anesthetic, a small part of the tumor is sliced off and sent to a pathologist for examination. The pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope and provides a Skin Cancer diagnosis based on the characteristics of the extracted tumor. The Skin Cancer Biopsy provides information about the stage of cancer. Imaging tests are further conducted to see whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body. These can be evaluated by
- MRI scan (Magnetic Resource Imaging)
- An X-Ray of the chest
- Positron emission tomography or computed tomography
A lymph node Biopsy might also be conducted in case the patient shows symptoms of advanced melanoma.