Getting diagnosed with skin cancer

Your GP decides whether you need to see a specialist. Some GPs have had specialist training and can help diagnose and treat some types of non melanoma skin cancer. This means that you may not need to see a specialist.

Seeing your GP about skin cancer

See your GP if you notice a change in your skin that isn't normal for you. Or if you have any of the possible signs and symptoms of skin cancer. 


Referral to a skin cancer specialist

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you have symptoms that could be due to certain types of non melanoma skin cancer. Some GPs can treat basal cell cancer.

Screening for skin cancer

Screening means testing people for early stages of an illness before they have any symptoms. There is no national screening programme for non melanoma skin cancer.

Tests for skin cancer

The main test to diagnose skin cancer is to take a sample (biopsy) of the area. There are different types of biopsy. 

Last reviewed: 
06 Jan 2023
Next review due: 
06 Jan 2026
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer