How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed And Treated?

Skin cancer is an extremely serious condition and one that shouldn't be underestimated or ignored. If you know or suspect that you might have skin cancer, you may be wondering what's next for you. The good news is that skin cancer, especially in the early stages, is readily treatable. Here's what you should know about testing and treating skin cancer.


For most people, skin cancer first appears as a melanoma. Melanoma typically looks like discolored skin and is often confused for moles. The main giveaway that a mole is skin cancer is if the 'mole' is asymmetrical. This is usually a warning sign to dermatologists and doctors, so if you notice that your mark isn't even on all sides, then it may be a bad sign.

Testing a potential melanoma is simple. Your dermatologist will examine the area and take a small tissue sample to be sent to a lab. This will be done following an injection of a pain killer so that you won't feel anything. Once the lab analyzes the sample, they'll inform your doctor or dermatologist of whether it's cancerous or not. If it is, you'll continue on to treatment.


For smaller melanoma and larger ones alike, surgery is the usual go-to for treating and destroying skin cancer.

For small, mole-like melanoma, this can usually be performed in the dermatologist's office, and you can go home the same day. The odd-looking skin and some surrounding tissue will be removed. The healthy-looking tissue will also be tested to determine if the cancer has spread or if it was isolated.

Larger skin cancers may produce tumors that need to be removed, also. However, it's necessary for most tumors to go under general anesthesia with a surgeon to have the tumor removed. Your doctor will determine what's right for you.

Post-Op Procedures

Once your skin cancer has been removed, if your doctor determines that the cancer hasn't spread, you're ready to begin recovering. However, some people end up wishing that their skin looked smoother or are concerned if they had a tumor removed that it will leave them looking unsightly.

The good news is that your dermatologist or surgeon will be able to amend this by performing a skin graft. This takes a small amount of healthy skin from elsewhere on your body and connects it to the area that was operated on, restoring your appearance. This can't be done until your doctor is certain that you're cancer-free, however.

To learn more information about skin cancer treatments, reach out to a dermatologist near you.

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Dermatologists Want You to Feel Confident Dermatologists spend day in and day out helping patients improve the looks of their skin. Their primary goal is to get your skin healthy, but did you know that they also want you to feel confident? Skin problems like acne and psoriasis can leave patients with a lack of confidence. For some patients, this lack of confidence is so profound that they barely leave their homes. In helping to ease your skin conditions, dermatologists hope that you also get your confidence back. You can learn more about the work these doctors do on this website. Remember that by working with a dermatologist, you can improve the health of your skin and of your mind.