Common Tests or Labs to Diagnose Skin CancerThe first step in screening for skin cancer is an examination of the skin to look for changes. If done regularly by both physician and individual, the chance of detecting a skin cancer early is much greater. Read more in this skin cancer patient education guide.
|Test||Why Test?||What Happens?||Normal Result|
|Body Scan||To assist the doctor in mole mapping for the early detection of malignant and benign melanoma||The doctor looks at the skin of the entire body, often with a microscope. Some moles may be measured so your doctor can track whether they grow.||The doctor will indicate and discuss moles that appear to be abnormal.|
|FotoFinder Dermoscope Test||To assist the doctor in mole mapping for the early detection of malignant and benign melanoma||Using an instrument called a FotoFinder dermoscope, each mole is compared with an overview image of the prior examination.||Normal moles will not change over time.|
|Skin Biopsy||To determine whether a suspicious area contains cancerous cells||A small sample of skin is removed for laboratory analysis through one of the five following methods:Incisional – a small piece of the abnormal area is removed by surgical knife.Excisional – the whole abnormal area is removed by surgical knife. Punch – a small circle sampling of deep tissue with full thickness is retrieved. Shave – the top abnormal skin area is shaved off under local anesthesia. Core needle – a tissue core is retrieved using a needle into the abnormal area.||Almost any and every abnormality of skin is diagnosed: