Suspicious moles, freckles, and spots that are new or have changed can signal precancerous changes or skin cancer. To properly diagnose skin cancer, your dermatologist will start with a complete physical exam, checking your body from your scalp to your toes for signs of suspicious moles.

If a suspicious mole is spotted, your physician will perform a biopsy of the mole or remove it entirely and send the tissue sample to a lab for testing to determine whether or not it’s cancerous. If the mole is cancerous, your physician may need to take more tissue samples for further testing.