ZocdocAnswersAre biopsy always used to examine suspicious moles?

Question

Are biopsy always used to examine suspicious moles?

My doctor said he would have to biopsy a suspicious mole. I'm a 24 year old woman and afraid of needles and things. Is this biopsy necessary. Is there any other way he can get it out?

Answer

Unfortunately there is no other way. The main concern here with suspicious moles is that they could be melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer. Melanomas tend to grow down into the skin and invade, therefore it is necessary to cut the suspicious moles out completely in order to be certain that the entire suspicious area is removed. The procedure is very straight forward. Usually the entire procedure only takes 15 - 30 minutes. Your doctor will first clean off the area of skin and then will inject a small amount of local numbing medicine with a very small needle. After this the area will fall asleep, and you will not feel the rest of the procedure. You will likely be lying down for the procedure so there is no need to feel nervous about fainting or getting dizzy. When the mole is removed, your doctor will place a few stitches which will remain in place until the area is healed. Your doctor will then send the removed mole to the pathologist, who will process it and will look at the specimen under the microscope and will be able to determine if there is any skin cancer present in the specimen.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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