Skin cancer is the leading form of cancer in Australia and can often be difficult to detect without the right expertise and tools necessary for an accurate diagnosis. SunDoctors Skin Cancer Clinics specialise in comprehensively examining changes in moles and skin spots, and providing accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plans.
Skin Cancer is caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage to the skin, which presents itself as new growths or changes in shape, size and colour to existing moles. While most skin cancer can be diagnosed through visual examination, sometimes it is necessary to do a biopsy to diagnose it correctly.
What is a skin biopsy?
A skin biopsy is a medical procedure that takes a sample of your skin to be analysed in a laboratory, which will then be used to diagnose the presence of skin cancer. There are three main types of biopsy procedures:
- Punch biopsy: this biopsy uses a specialised tool to remove a deep circular portion of the suspected tumour.
- Incisional biopsy: removes a small, shallow portion of the suspected tumour for analysis.
- Excisional biopsy: removes the entire mole and part of the surrounding skin to ensure that it is completely excised.
Why perform a skin biopsy?
There are two reasons for a skin biopsy. The main reason is to remove a piece of the suspected tumour to be examined in a laboratory, to do this we would normally perform a punch or incisional biopsy.
If we suspect that the mole or spot is cancerous, particularly if it appears to be a melanoma, then we will advise an excisional biopsy. This is done to remove the entire affected area, and is often the only procedure required to completely treat skin cancer.
What does the typical procedure look like with SunDoctors?
Once a skin examination is performed and the doctor has identified a suspicious mole or skin spot, they will offer to perform a biopsy.
- The biopsy is generally a painless procedure that can be done in the same session as the skin examination.
- The doctor will first clean the surrounding area and use a local anaesthetic to numb the skin. As it is typically a simple procedure general anaesthetic, where the patient is put to sleep, is normally not required.
- The doctor will then perform the biopsy and if it was an excisional procedure, where the entire mole was removed, will use stitches to help promote healing.
- The doctor will then send the sample to our in-house laboratory and the patient will be able to make their way home.
Why choose SunDoctors?
SunDoctors are a group of specialised medical professionals, dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. We have the facilities and expertise to make our biopsies as efficient and painless as possible, while our in-house pathology labs boast the technology and infrastructure to ensure that cancer diagnosis is fast and accurate.
Book a skin examination today
If you are due for your regular skin check or believe that you found a suspicious looking spot, then call SunDoctors today for a professional skin examination and diagnosis.