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What procedures are used in oncology to diagnose skin cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Oncology uses a number of skin biopsy procedures to diagnose skin cancer. Excisional and incisional biopsies are sometimes used to remove all or part of a growth from the surface of the skin. Shave biopsies allow the oncologist to remove a tissue sample from the skin by scraping the surface with a tool. In a punch biopsy, the oncologist removes a quarter-inch deep section of the skin using a circular, punch-like tool. The wounds created by excisional, incisional, and punch biopsies often need to be stitched afterward. Shave biopsies do not usually require stitches.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.