What happens during a skin biopsy? Skin cancer specialist explains

Skin cancer is one of the leading cancers spotted in adult patients today. Fortunately, it is also the easiest to recognize and can be treated early enough for successful treatment. However, if patients fail to visit a dermatologist on a regular basis for a skin cancer screening, they may not catch their condition until it’s too late. The best way to diagnose cancer is with a biopsy.

What is a biopsy?

The doctors of Georgia Dermatology Partners describe a biopsy as a diagnostic tool used for finding skin cancer. During an evaluation, the doctor may find an area of concern on the skin that may be indicative of skin cancer. At this point, the doctor will remove a small portion of the skin to have them further evaluated by a pathologist to look for cancerous cells. The pathologist understands how to evaluate tissue samples and determine if skin cancer is present. If a biopsy is removed from a patient and tests positive for skin cancer, the doctor will then work with the patient to discuss treatment options.

How is a biopsy taken?

There are different ways in which a doctor may remove a sample of tissue from the body for the pathologist. The types of biopsies include:

  • Scrape biopsy
  • Punch biopsy
  • Needle biopsy
  • Capsule biopsy
  • Stereotactic biopsy
  • Colposcopic biopsy
  • Endoscopic biopsy

In most cases, the sample of tissue removed from a patient to check for skin cancer include the scrape or punch biopsy. These will provide pathologists with a sample large enough to evaluate or cancerous cells. Patients who are having a biopsy completed may be administered a local anesthetic to ensure comfort. The sample removed will not require stitches due to the size taken, though later excision to remove all cancer may require stitches for proper healing. Treatments are discussed only if the biopsy returns to the office positive with cancer.

Concerned about skin cancer?

Schedule your skin cancer screening with the team of professionals at Georgia Dermatology Partners. Our practice has four convenient locations throughout the area and can assist with a wide range of general and cosmetic solutions for the skin and body. Call Georgia Dermatology Partners today at (770) 972-4845 to request your appointment.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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