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The Biopsy Helps Identify Staging and Treatment for Melanoma

Dr. Cecilia Larocca Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

A biopsy will rule out or confirm whether a melanoma is present, but it will also provide information on staging and treatment. If there is a malignancy, the pathologist will be looking at tumor depth and ulceration.

Tumor depth means the pathologist is measuring the depth of invasion in millimeters, or how thick the melanoma is which helps stage the cancer. Signs of ulceration usually mean that the melanoma is more aggressive.

Based on the staging and degree of ulceration, treatment decisions can be made.

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Dr. Cecilia Larocca is a dermatologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Read More