During your skin check, Dr. Buster may find a skin cancer on your body. When that occurs, she will recommend biopsy and—if you allow—she will perform it at that time. The biopsy is a small sample of tissue from the lesion of concern. It is not intended to remove the entire lesion, but only to take some of it to confirm or clarify the diagnosis. Once biopsy results are back, Dr. Buster or her staff will notify you of the results and if a skin cancer is identified, Dr. Buster will recommend treatment.
Treatment depends on the type of skin cancer, subtype of skin cancer, location, and size. Sometimes there are multiple treatment options that Dr. Buster deems appropriate for you, and in such cases Dr. Buster or her staff will discuss those with you. The most common treatments are surgical excision (cutting it out), destruction (e.g., freezing, scraping/burning, etc.), Mohs surgery* (a type of surgery done by dermatologists with additional training), radiation, and/or topical medication. Surgical approaches typically have higher cure rate than creams, but creams do have their place for lower risk types of skin cancer.
Skin cancers removed by Dr. Buster are sent to a pathology lab for analysis by a board-certified dermatopathologist (skin pathologist).
For more information on skin cancer, click here.
*Mohs is an excellent option for some skin cancers as it allows for higher cure rate and sometimes smaller scar, but is not indicated for all types of skin cancer.