What happens if we find a suspicious mole?

If you see a doctor for a full-body skin cancer examination and a suspicious mole is identified, what happens next? Dr Steve Wassall explains the process of biopsy, diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of suspicious skin lesions.

Watch the full video:


In the video, Dr Wassall explains how suspicious lesions are identified and biopsied. A small tissue sample is taken from the lesion and sent away to a specialised histopathology laboratory, where the doctor's diagnosis is confirmed by skin pathologists who will also check whether the entire lesion has been removed or if an additional excision is necessary.

Biopsies involve a small amount of anaesthetic to numb the area before the mole is either entirely or partially removed with a scalpel and the skin is stitched back together. 

The pathology result of the biopsy determines what kind of treatment is required for curing the skin cancer. Sometimes, the biopsy removed the entire malignancy without requiring addition intervention.

Highly invasive treatments and surgery can usually be avoided if the skin cancer has been detected in its earliest stages, which is why regular skin cancer checks are so important.