biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of skin tissue
is removed, processed, and examined under a microscope.
different methods may be used to obtain a skin sample, depending on the size
and location of the abnormal area of skin, called a skin lesion. The skin
sample is placed in a solution, such as formaldehyde, or in a sterile container
if infection is suspected. In each of these procedures, the tissue is processed
and then examined under a microscope.
Skin biopsies most often are
done to diagnose
skin cancer, which may be suspected when an abnormal
area of skin has changed
shape , size, or appearance or has not healed after an
injury. Skin cancers are the most common type of cancers.
diagnosis of a suspicious skin lesion and skin biopsy can help identify skin
cancers and lead to early treatment.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
March 28, 2011
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