Skin Biopsy

Skin Biopsy Specialist
Skin cancer is extremely common, especially here in sunny Southern California. To detect skin cancer in its earliest stage, Dr. De Silva of De Silva Medical, in Palmdale, California, offers expert skin cancer screening and skin biopsy services to patients throughout the Antelope Valley.

Skin BIopsy Q & A

What Is the Purpose of a Skin Cancer Screening?

Skin cancer is the the most prevalent form of cancer in this country. It will affect 1 in 5 Americans over the course of their lifetime - that’s more than the combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. An annual skin cancer screening is the best way to detect skin cancer at its early most treatable stage. A screening is simple and painless. It involves the doctor making a visual inspection of your skin. If any new or unusual spots or moles are found, they will be excised and sent to a lab for a biopsy to examine whether cancer cells are present.

How Are Skin Spots or Moles Biopsied?

There are three main methods of skin biopsies, each quick, relatively painless and performed with a local anesthetic.

The three approaches are:

  • A Shave biopsy, in which a tool similar to a razor is used to make horizontal cuts and remove a tiny section of the top layers of skin. Patients should never attempt this themselves at home.
  • A surgical excision. With this method suspicious spot and a small surrounding area of skin is cut out with a scalpel. Then the wound is sutured closed.
  • A Punch biopsy, which utilizes a circular tool to remove a small piece of skin including deeper layers.

Do All Moles Need to be Biopsied?

No. In fact, most moles don’t need to be removed or biopsied. Only those that appear potentially cancerous by Dr. De Silva require removal. Signs that a mole may be cancerous are:

  • Is asymmetrical in shape.
  • It has an irregular, or undefined border.
  • Contains various colors rather than a solid, overall hue.
  • Is large in size, greater that 6 mm, or roughly the size of a pencil eraser.
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