Skin Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Most skin cancer is cured surgically in the dermatologist's office. Of skin cancers that do recur, most do so within three years. Therefore, follow up with your dermatologist (skin specialist) as recommended. Make an appointment immediately if you suspect a problem.
If you have a more deeply invasive or advanced malignant melanoma, your oncologist may want to see you every few months. These visits may include total body skin examinations, regional lymph node checks, and periodic chest X-rays. Over time, the intervals between follow-up appointments will increase. Eventually these checks may be done only once a year.
You can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.
Monthly self-examination improves your chances of finding a skin cancer early, when it has done a minimum of damage to your skin and can be treated easily. Regular self-exam helps you recognize any new or changing features.
Check all areas of your body, including "hard-to-reach" areas. Ask a loved one to help you if there are areas you can't see.
Michael S Lehrer, MD
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