We survey attempts to accurately diagnose skin cancer in vivo and in real time through the use of optics and automatic computation without the intervention of the clinician. Although no system has yet been shown to have such a capability, commercialization of a variety of diagnostic aids has taken place. We describe our own research into the diagnosis of malignant melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, based on the spectroscopy of diffuse white light reflectance
collected with a single multimode fiber after delivery with a multimode fiber bundle. Our clinical study, which collected 82 melanomas and 277 lesions in total, highlights the complexity of this challenging application.