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HealthInfo Canterbury

Melanoma tests & diagnosis

If you are worried about your moles, freckles, spots, or your skin in general, make an appointment to see your GP.

Your doctor will ask you if you have any history of melanoma or skin cancer, and they will carry out an examination. They are looking for unusual features, shapes, and colours, and any changes that you might have noticed.

Sometimes your doctor will use an instrument called a dermatoscope to check your lesions. This is called dermoscopy, and it's used when there is doubt over whether or not a mole is a melanoma.

After an examination, your doctor may be able to tell you if your lesion(s) might be melanoma. However, it is not always this straightforward and sometimes they'll need to carry out a procedure called a skin biopsy to check.

No melanoma found

If your doctor doesn't think you have melanoma, they may:

On the next page: How is melanoma treated?

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Dermatology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed September 2016.


See also:

More information about melanoma & other types of skin cancer

Preventing melanoma & other skin cancers

Page reference: 37529

Review key: HIMEL-15455