Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
To diagnose basal cell carcinoma, your doctor may:
- Examine your skin. Your doctor will examine the suspicious area on your skin. He or she will also look over the rest of your body for other unusual areas of skin.
- Remove a sample of skin for testing. Your doctor may do a skin biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of the unusual skin for testing in a laboratory. This will reveal whether you have skin cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer. The type of skin biopsy you undergo will depend on your situation.
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- Wood GS, et al. Nonmelanoma skin cancers: Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008:1253.
- Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/nmsc.pdf. Accessed Jan. 14, 2011.
- What you need to know about melanoma and other skin cancers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/skin. Accessed Jan. 14, 2011.
- Basal cell carcinoma. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_basal.html. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Skin cancer prevention (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/skin/Patient/. Accessed Jan. 14, 2011.
- What are basal and squamous cell skin cancers? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SkinCancer-BasalandSquamousCell/DetailedGuide/skin-cancer-basal-and-squamous-cell-what-is-basal-and-squamous-cell. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- ToxFAQx for arsenic. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=19&tid=3. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.