Common Skin Cancer Biopsy Myths

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Many patients who hear of biopsies for skin cancer may have a lot of questions. This includes the myths being spread about skin cancer and skin cancer testing. 

What are some common myths about skin cancer and biopsies? 

  • Punch biopsy gets full depth and is always preferred for melanoma. Biopsying a lesion that is suspected to be melanoma is often done with a deep shave biopsy, or saucerization, and not a punch  biopsy. Instead, the punch biopsy is only considered for suspected melanoma with a small margin around it.
  • Biopsies can spread cancer. This is not true. Biopsies are just samples taken from the area to test for cancerous cells for a definitive diagnosis. They will not cause cancer to spread.
  • Getting a mole checked during a skin cancer screening requires surgical extraction. This is not true. The traditional method of diagnosing melanomas used to require the removal of the mole, but now, a small sample can be taken and tested. If the samples show skin cancer, specifically melanoma, then remove techniques are discussed to ensure prompt extraction of the cancerous cells to stop the risk of spread.
  • I don’t need annual skin cancer screenings because I do not have moles. Skin cancer screenings are critical to ensuring areas of concern are evaluated early on and treatment is obtained in the earliest stages. This significantly reduces the risk of cancer spreading. Even in patients without moles, certain lesions or growths may be a sign of skin cancer and will need evaluation from a dermatological professional at Harris Dermatology in Fort Myers and Naples, FL.

Are you overdue for a skin cancer screening? 

Whether you’re late to scheduling your evaluation or are new to the area and seeking a new provider, we encourage you to book a consultation appointment at Harris Dermatology. Drs. Brian Harris, Ross Harris, and Keith Harris are here to assist new and returning patients with getting a proper diagnosis of skin cancer. We also speak routinely with patients about protecting the skin and reducing their risk of skin cancer. If you are located in the Fort Myers or Naples, FL communities, call one of our two office locations to book your next visit and screening.

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