Patients who need surgical removal of a skin lesion may argue that the procedure isn't needed when they cannot feel or see the lesion, and sometimes the cancer site is difficult to spot after biopsy, writes dermatologist David Gaston. Both scenarios can be avoided by not removing the entire elevated portion during shave biopsy unless melanoma is suspected, documenting the lesion location accurately and explaining to patients that a biopsy is a diagnostic procedure, Gaston writes.

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