At SkinVision we focus on detecting signs of skin cancer in early stages, so that you will get to a doctor in time to follow up, and start treatment if necessary. But before treatment, an official diagnosis has to be made. So how is skin cancer diagnosed? Let’s take a look.
After you have done a self-check with the SkinVision app and are now visiting a doctor for a closer look, the first next step is examination. This means that your doctor may look at your skin to determine whether your skin changes are likely to be skin cancer. In some cases this is enough to establish a diagnosis, but in most cases further investigation is needed.
If more examination is needed, the doctor will remove a sample of the skin tissue for testing, which is called a biopsy. A biopsy can determine whether you have skin cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer you have. With this sample it depends on the outcome if you will need further treatment. If the diagnosis is superficial skin cancer (like Basal Cell Carcinoma), then the biopsy of removing all the tissue involved could be enough treatment. But in other case further steps are needed.
Skin cancer that spreads
For other types of skin cancer, like Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Melanoma, there is a risk of spreading through your body into different organs. When these types of skin cancer are identified, further testing is needed to find out if the skin cancer has spread. Additional tests might include imaging tests to examine the nearby lymph nodes for example.
During this process the stage of skin cancer is also established. Ranging from 1 to 4, stages represent the severity of the skin cancer found. In stages one and two, the cancer is only present in the skin and hasn’t yet spread to other areas of the body. In stages three and four, the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body.
Please note that this article is for information purposes only. For questions about diagnosis and treatment for your personal situation, consult your doctor at any time.