So you found a suspicious mole, and were good about setting up an appointment with the dermatologist to have it checked out. What now?
The dermatologist will check all your skin in addition to the spot you are in having checked. The reason the dermatologist checks your whole body is to make sure there aren’t any moles you missed in your self-examination, and the doctor also will note ones that he or she wants to keep an eye one, and which ones need further examination.
If the doctor agrees that the mole you originally came in to have checked is suspicious, a biopsy will be performed. This in-office procedure often is done by cutting out the mole in question as well as some of the surrounding skin, according to a Lifescript.com article. If the mole is more than one millimeter, a surgeon also will remove the nearest lymph node, called the “sentinel” node to see if any cancer has spread. Both the mole and the lymph node will be sent to a laboratory for cancer testing.
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