Skin Cancer Diagnostics The Wilmot Cancer Center provides dermatologists, pathologists and surgeons all at the same center. By coming to Wilmot for your diagnostics, you will be assured of the best continuity and least hassle during this often stressful time. The diagnosis of skin cancer begins with a physical examination. Since the dermatologists at Wilmot see a very high volume of skin cancer cases, they are highly experienced at identifying skin cancers and determining their types. Equally important, they can help to identify skin disorders that are not cancer and which may not need to be treated. In most cases, our dermatologists will perform a biopsy. This involves taking a small sample of cells from the affected part of your skin. The following are the types of biopsies that may be performed: Shave biopsy. After the area is numbed, a few layers of cells are shaved from the skin. Punch biopsy. A tiny tool is used to take a cylindrical sample of cells, providing cells from deeper layers of the skin. Incisional biopsy. Part of the suspected tumor is cut out using a surgical knife. Excisional biopsy. All of the suspected tumor is removed. This type of biopsy is most often performed in cases of suspected melanoma. Fine needle aspiration. A very thin needle is used to remove a small sampling of cells. When having a biopsy, you will be given an injection of a medication that will help to numb the area. The sample of cells is then removed and sent to our dermatopathologist to be examined under a microscope. Your dermatologist will be able to discuss the results of your biopsy within a few days.