It’s not uncommon to feel a sense of uncertainty, even after you’ve completed skin cancer treatment. Throughout your treatment journey, be sure to communicate openly with your dermatologist or derma-oncologist. After treatment, you may have some questions about recurrence, precautions you should take, and more. Coming up with questions off the top of your head while you’re in the doctor’s office can be stressful — and you may forget to touch on certain areas of concern. That’s why we’ve put together this overview of starter questions to ask after skin cancer treatment.
Post-Treatment Questions to Ask
Many of your most immediate questions will likely have to do with recurrence. Ask the following questions if you’re concerned about the skin cancer coming back and what your options might be in that situation:
- What are the chances of the cancer coming back? What are my options if that happens?
- What are my chances of developing another skin cancer?
- How will we know if the cancer has returned? What are the signs?
- What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
Keep in mind that the answers to your questions about recurrence and your chances of developing another skin cancer will depend on your previous treatments and individual case. Follow-up care involves continued examination by a doctor. If you’ve had skin cancer, you may be at risk of developing skin cancer in another location, so staying up-to-date with full body exams is crucial. Your doctor may also suggest examining your own skin once a month, so you can watch for anything abnormal.
Should I take special precautions to avoid the sun? How can I protect myself?
You should take special precautions to avoid the sun, whether you’ve had skin cancer or not. Avoid tanning beds and always check the UV Index before heading outside. If the UV Index rating is a 3 or higher, take special precautions to avoid exposing your skin to harmful UV rays. Follow the five S’s of sun safety to protect against skin cancer and premature aging, which include:
- SLIP on a T-shirt
- SLOP on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15+
- SLAP on a broad-brimmed hat
- SLIDE on quality sunglasses
- SHADE from the sun whenever possible
Are my family members at risk of developing skin cancer?
Certain hereditary syndromes and genes are linked to an increased risk of skin cancers developing within families. About 10% of people with skin cancer have a close relative with the disease. Keeping up with routine screenings is the best way for your relatives to catch skin cancer early and treat it before it spreads.
Stay Informed About Skin Cancer Treatment with GentleCure
Make a list of the questions above — and add more of your own as you think of them. No matter where you are in your skin cancer journey, you’re likely to have questions. GentleCure™ is a trusted source of information for people with skin cancer who are seeking treatment options, such as Image-Guided SRT, or simply want to know more about how to protect themselves in the future. Contact us to speak with a skin cancer information specialist, or use our search tool to find an Image-Guided SRT location near you.