If you have developed a concerning rash or have noticed changes to a mole on your skin, it is important that you take the proper steps to be evaluated by a dermatologist for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed to adult patients in the United States—and is one of the most preventable and noticeable cancers today. Changes in the skin can signal a concern, which is why patients are urged to schedule a skin cancer screening at least once a year.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
A diagnosis of skin cancer is achieved with the help of a trained and experienced dermatologist, such as those at Harris Dermatology in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. To determine if there is skin cancer present, a biopsy is taken. A biopsy is a sample of the skin of concern that is sent out to a laboratory to evaluate. With a biopsy, a dermatologist can tell if cancer is present, as well as what type of cancer it is.
How do I know if I need a biopsy?
Patients who notice changes in their skin, including the formation of a new skin growth, will want to schedule a screening with their dermatologist, even if it’s not time for their annual visit yet. The dermatologist will evaluate the area of concern, and if he believes that it may be indicative of cancer, he will remove a sample for biopsy. If cancer is found, patients are advised regarding their condition and the treatment options available to them.
Are biopsies part of the annual skin cancer screenings?
They can be if a dermatologist has a concern regarding a skin tag, growth, or changing mole. Dermatologists are trained and experienced to know when skin cancer might be present, and a biopsy is used to confirm or deny their suspicions. This allows the doctor to make a definitive diagnosis and make recommendations to patients regarding their next steps.
Do you suspect that you may have skin cancer?
With two locations in the Fort Myers and Naples, Florida area, patients in need of an evaluation can connect with the doctors at Harris Dermatology!