Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Skin Cancer

Is a Shave Biopsy Enough to Detect Melanoma?



Two years ago I had a shave biopsy on my lower leg. The lesion was blue/black in color, slightly raised, and 3mm. Those were the only abnormalities. The dermatologist performed a shave biopsy but apologized with having to go deeper to get to the lesion. The biopsy report showed a complete benign solar lengtigo. After the biopsy, some of the blue/black lesion was still there. In the two years, the remaining part of the lesion has not changed in color, size, shape, texture, or elevation. I have read that a shave biopsy is not enough to detect melanoma. Can I trust my results and move on?


If you are concerned, I think that it is best to have a lesion reevaluated. A shave biopsy, if it is large enough (gives a good representation of the specimen), can be enough to diagnose melanoma.

For more information:

Go to the Skin Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Kord  Honda, MD Kord Honda, MD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University