If you have symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing, have traveled to areas impacted by the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) within the past 14 days, and/or have been in close contact with someone who has traveled outside the US or been exposed to the Coronavirus please call your primary clinic before coming in for your appointment. We have also made temporary changes to who may accompany patients to appointments and treatments. Learn More

Melanoma Diagnosis

Melanoma Diagnosis

If the doctor suspects that a spot on the skin is melanoma, the patient will need to have a biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to make a definite diagnosis. In this procedure, the doctor tries to remove all of the suspicious-looking growth. This is an excisional biopsy. If the growth is too large to be removed entirely, the doctor removes a sample of the tissue. The doctor will never “shave off” or cauterize a growth that might be melanoma.

A biopsy can usually be done in the doctor’s office using local anesthesia. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. Sometimes it is helpful for more than one pathologist to check the tissue for cancer cells.