The majority of skin cancers are removed in the physician's office and fortunately are cured. However, skin cancers do have a habit of recurring. If a skin cancer is going to recur, they always occur within the first 3 years.
Any patient who has been diagnosed and treated for a skin cancer must follow up with a dermatologist
For those who have had a diagnosis of a melanoma, a follow up every few months is highly recommended. Besides the skin , the nodes in the axilla and groin must be carefully assessed for the first few months, if all is clear, the annual exams are recommended.
One can greatly diminish the risk of skin cancer by:
Limiting the Sun Avoiding sun is the key to prevention of skin cancer. Sun is the highest risk for skin cancers. Individuals who live in Australia and in the southern USA are more frequently exposed to sun than individuals who live in the more temperate climates.
Sun screens. For those who love the sun, the use of sun screens with an SPF of >20 is recommended.. Today, sunscreens are available which can block both UV A and UV B rays. Buy sunscreens which contain both inorganic and organic compounds. These newer sunscreen are effective at blocking almost 95% of the suns' UV rays
Clothing: For those who are constantly exposed to sun, wear protective clothing and a hat. Specialized fabrics are now available which can reflect back the UV rays
Tanning booths: Tanning booths are a major risk factor for exposure to UV rays.
Self exam: In today's modern era of medicine, the patient also has to play a major role as a health care amateur.
Examine your skin and know your body. If there are any changes in the skin which are new or puzzling, consult with your dermatologist