Diagnosing skin cancer

Accurate diagnosis and ongoing diagnostic assessment are vital in delivering the most effective treatments and achieving the best possible outcomes. At HCA Healthcare UK we offer rapid access to expert dermatologists who use the latest diagnostic tests and investigations to diagnose skin cancer.

Appointments & Enquiries

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How is skin cancer diagnosed?

If you have noticed any suspicious changes to your skin, such as a sore that won’t heal, or a change in the shape and size of an existing mole, it’s important to diagnose what is causing these changes as soon as possible. These symptoms can be caused by other health and skin conditions or environmental factors and do not necessarily mean you have cancer.

You may choose to visit your GP in the first instance. At your appointment they will examine the abnormal mole or abnormal area on your skin.

They may then refer you to a specialist for further investigation and to determine a diagnosis. The specialist will perform a physical examination and take a biopsy. A biopsy is a small surgical procedure in which a small part or, in some cases, all of the affected area is removed so it can be looked at under a microscope to confirm the presence of cancer.

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Access our specialists

At HCA Healthcare UK we offer rapid access to expert dermatologists who will be able to discuss your symptoms, physically examine your skin and perform the biopsy at the same appointment. We know that this can be a very worrying time, so we’ll make sure you get the results of your biopsy as quickly as possible.

If your biopsy confirms a skin cancer diagnosis you will have immediate access to our multidisciplinary team (MDT) of skin cancer specialists which includes consultants, cancer nurses and other cancer healthcare experts. Led by your named consultant, the team come together to discuss your individual diagnosis, consider all the different options and make a recommendation on the best treatment plan for you, without delay.

Your consultant will discuss this treatment plan with you and along with your Clinical Nurse Specialist they can answer any questions you may have so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment and care.

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Our patients share their experience of skin cancer

Carol and Pinja were both diagnosed with early-stage malignant melanoma. They each share their stories about how they were diagnosed, the treatment they received and their advice for others

"Three years ago I was treated for breast cancer at The Princess Grace Hospital. I have been having regular follow-up appointments, and a few months ago during one of these check-ups, a concerning freckle was spotted on my breast. I was advised that I should see a dermatologist to get the freckle checked and any other moles too. I had been meaning to get my moles checked for a while as a friend had mentioned that a mole on my head looked a little different than before. During my consultation with Dr Mokbel, she carried out a mole mapping procedure, where digital images were taken of every mole on my body and analysed to check for atypical moles."



If you have noticed something has changed with your skin, or are concerned something is wrong with your skin, make an appointment with your GP right away. They will be able to refer you to a dermatologist for further investigation if required.

Alternatively, you can arrange to see one of our expert dermatologists at a location convenient to you. 

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Skin cancer specialists

Find a dermatologist

A consultant dermatologist is a doctor who specialises in multiple skin conditions including skin cancer.

If you are concerned about changes to your skin or would like to seek specialist advice on how to manage your risk of developing skin cancer, such as mole mapping services, you can contact a Consultant Dermatologist at HCA Healthcare UK to book an appointment.