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Shave and Punch Biopsies for the Treatment of Skin Cancer

Biopsies are extremely important and are performed for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers. Biopsies allow us to determine first if a lesion is cancerous or not. Second, they allow us to determine which treatment options are the most appropriate for that specific skin cancer. Not all skin cancers are the same. Even within the category of a specific skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, there are many subtypes that respond differently to different treatment options.

There are two types of biopsies routinely performed at the dermatologist office, the shave biopsy and the punch biopsy.

Shave Biopsy

The shave biopsy involves taking a thin, superficial layer of skin using a broad, flat blade. For most skin cancers only a small portion of the cancer is removed, however, in pigmented growths, often the entire growth will be removed.

Shave Biopsy

Punch Biopsy

The punch biopsy involves using a special circular instrument to remove a core sample of a growth. These biopsies are typically deeper and more useful for deeper lesions in which the depth of a growth is important to be determined. It is also useful for larger growths in which multiple punch biopsies are obtained to get multiple samples of different areas of the growth.

Punch Biopsy

 
ADSCI - Advanced Dermatology Skin Cancer Institute Linage Dermatology Linage Skin Care