Follow-up after treatment for skin cancer
For many people who have surgery for basal cell cancers and very early stage squamous cell cancers, no further follow-up will be required.
However, your doctor may want you to have regular check-ups for a time to make sure that the cancer has not returned, and the treatment has been fully successful. These check-ups are a good opportunity to discuss with your doctor any problems or worries you may have.
Once you have had one skin cancer you are at more risk of developing another skin cancer. You are also more at risk of developing a recurrence of your skin cancer at the site where you had it before. So it's important that you check the rest of your skin for any new symptoms or changes that could be cancer.
If you notice any new symptoms, or you have any worries, you should discuss them with your GP or specialist. For people whose treatment is over apart from regular check-ups, our booklet on adjusting to life after cancer gives useful advice on how to keep healthy and re-adjust to life after cancer.
How you might feel
Although your skin cancer is likely to be cured you may feel anxious or upset for a while. Talking to family and friends about how you are feeling often helps. You can also talk to your doctor or specialist nurse for advice and support.
Occasionally some people may need more advice and support from their healthcare professionals and family and friends. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone who's not directly involved. Your specialist or GP can usually refer you to a trained counsellor who can help.
Preventing further skin cancers
Protecting yourself from the sun is even more important after you have had treatment for skin cancer.
There are precautions that you can take to protect your skin:
Living with and after cancer
Information on the emotions you might experience as a result of your cancer diagnosis, ways that you might manage them and other sources of support.
Advice on how to talk to other people, talking to children, relationships and sexuality.
Note: JASCAP has booklets on the above subjects.