Can a Dermatologist diagnose and treat skin cancer?

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Skin cancer is diagnosed by physical exam and removal of skin tissue for examination by a laboratory. A dermatologist can perform this procedure during an office visit.

Treatment for skin cancer is determined by the patient’s age and health; the type and size of cancer; where on the body it is located; and whether the skin cancer has spread elsewhere in the body.

Types of treatment include surgery, freezing, scraping, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Each individual patient will have a team of different types of doctors, depending on the specific case. Working with the dermatologist may be a surgical oncologist who performs surgery to treat cancer; a medical oncologist who treats cancer with medicines and targeted therapies such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy; and a radiation oncologist who treats cancer with radiation therapy.

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