Your GP will examine you and decide whether to refer you to a specialist at the hospital for further tests. Sometimes a specially trained GP will be able to remove the affected area. But most people are referred to a skin specialist at the local hospital. This doctor is called a dermatologist.
The dermatologist will examine the affected area of skin. They may need to take a tissue sample called a biopsy. This is a simple procedure done in the outpatient department using local anaesthetic. The tissue sample will be looked at under a microscope by a specialist.
If you have a basal cell carcinoma, you probably won’t need any further tests. This is because it usually doesn’t spread as long as the cancer was completely removed. If you have a squamous cell carcinoma or if you’ve already had treatment for skin cancer and it has returned, you may need further tests and scans. Your doctor will explain any other tests to you.
Waiting for test results can be difficult. You may want to talk to someone close to you or one of our cancer support specialists.