Skin cancer is a disease that is challenging to accurately diagnose and stage. City of Hope’s team of internationally trained dermatologists and dermatopathologists use their clinical experience and expertise, and leading-edge technology, to provide you with the most accurate diagnosis — and the most effective treatment.
This powerful combination of experience, technology and talent is why City of Hope is known for transforming melanoma patients with advanced disease and dire diagnoses into survivors.
Tests to diagnose skin cancer
Skin exam, the first test to diagnose skin cancer, is a thorough check of the skin for moles, spots or bumps that appear to be abnormal.
Skin biopsy involves removing tissue that appears abnormal to be viewed later under a microscope by a pathologist. There are several types of skin biopsy, including:
- Shave biopsy, used to remove the abnormal growth using a razor blade.
- Punch biopsy uses a special round instrument to remove a circular tissue sample.
- Incisional biopsy involves removing a section of an abnormal growth.
- Excisional biopsy involves removing all of an abnormal growth.