Prognosis of Skin Cancer

Skin self-examination

Once a diagnosis of a skin cancer has been made, all individuals bear a significant responsibility in preventing recurrence.

Monthly self-examinations greatly increase your chances of finding the skin cancer in the early stages. In the early stage, the skin lesion has generally caused little damage to the surrounding tissues and the chances of cure are very high.

The skin is best examined right after a shower. The exam must be done in front of a mirror in a brightly lit room. A hand mirror is a great asset to have.

One should know where the old lesions are and preferably take photos. The size, shape and color should be noted.

During each exam, all lesions should be observed to see if there has been a change in color, size or shape. Any discrepancy in the skin lesions means a visit to the dermatologist.

Skin lesions is the back, rear of the neck, buttocks or other hard to see areas, should be examined by a friend or a family member.

For those who have already had a skin cancer, the entire body must be thoroughly inspected during each exam

It may seem that the soles and nails are not important, but skin cancers can occur in these areas. So examine these areas well. Cancers in the nail beds and soles of the feet are frequently missed by patients.


Even though the number of skin cancers have sky rocketed in North America, the majority of these cancers are being diagnosed at an early stage. When detected early, the skin cancers are generally curable. This means less aggressive therapy and this leads to fewer complications and a much longer life span.

In the majority of cases of basal cell carcinoma, cure is possible

When a squamous cell cancer is detected early, the prognosis is excellent. When the cancer is detected late, the prognosis is dependent on the stage.

Even after a complete excision of a skin cancer, recurrences are very high.In most cases recurrent skin cancer occurs at or around the same site

Less than 1% of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas will eventually spread elsewhere in the body and turn into dangerous cancer.

In most cases, the outcome of malignant melanoma depends on the depth of penetration of the tumor at the time of treatment.

Superficial skin cancers are almost always cured by simple surgery alone.

Widespread skin cancers which have deeply penetrated may have spread to other organs by the time a diagnosis is made.

Malignant melanoma causes more than 75% of deaths from skin cancer.

The majority of individuals who are diagnosed with a malignant melanoma are cured by surgery. Despite this, the cancer does cause deaths in a significant number of individuals

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