How is a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) confirmed?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Types of skin biopsy that may be used to confirm the diagnosis and determine the histologic subtype of BCC include the following:

  • Shave biopsy: Most often, the only biopsy that is required

  • Punch biopsy: May be indicated in the case of a pigmented lesion if there is difficulty distinguishing between pigmented BCC and melanoma; ensures that the depth of the lesion can be determined if it proves to be a malignant melanoma

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