Can a general practitioner diagnose skin cancer?
Although a skin exam with your primary care physician (PCP) can be a starting point in evaluating your skin for cancer, a dermatologist is the expert. Since a PCP will often refer you to a dermatologist if they aren’t sure about a spot, it makes sense to go straight to a dermatologist for an exam.
Can a GP remove a melanoma?
If melanoma is suspected, you should have an excisional biopsy. This will either be done by your GP or they will refer you to a dermatologist or surgeon.
Can a GP diagnose basal cell carcinoma?
Some GPs have had special training and are able to treat a type of skin cancer called basal cell cancer (BCC). So you might not need a referral to see a specialist.
Can an internist treat skin cancer?
While it isn’t recommended that primary care physicians perform whole-body skin exams for skin cancer, they can and should be alert for skin lesions with malignant features.
How can you tell if a spot is cancerous?
Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.
How long can skin cancer go untreated?
Melanoma can put a patient’s life at risk in as little as six weeks if left to grow untreated. When melanoma spreads to other areas of the body, it can become much more difficult to treat. A small melanoma tumor, if caught early on, can be treated with procedures like excision surgery or Mohs micrographic surgery.
How long can you have skin cancer without knowing?
For example, certain types of skin cancer can be diagnosed initially just by visual inspection — though a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. But other cancers can form and grow undetected for 10 years or more , as one study found, making diagnosis and treatment that much more difficult.
Can a GP do a biopsy?
The main test to diagnose skin cancer is to take a sample (biopsy) of the area. You need to go to your GP if you are worried about an abnormal area of skin. Your GP might refer you to a specialist if they think you have skin cancer. Or they might do a biopsy themselves if they have had the specialist training.
Can a GP do a skin biopsy?
An excision biopsy is a quick and simple procedure that can be done by your GP, dermatologist or a surgeon. You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area.
What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?
Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.