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Diagnosis of skin cancer (non-melanoma)

The diagnosis is made by a clinical examination and microscopic verification. For suspicion of metastasis, CT  and MRI are used along with other image diagnostic methods such as PET and skeletal scintigraphy.

Clinical Examination

The examination should be carried out with adequate illumination while the lesion is:

  • inspected
  • palpated
  • stretched
  • measured
  • drawn on a body diagram
  • photographed

A clinical examination of regional lymph nodes is performed.


  • Punch biopsy
  • Surface biopsy, possibly fine-needle aspiration cytology
  • Excisional biopsy

Metastasis work-up is performed for: 

  • Suspicion of metastases
  • Special microscopic types, for example Merkel cell carcinoma

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