Supporting Long-Term Health After Skin Cancer
- Posted on: May 15 2018
For most adults, skin cancer was not a concern during their youth. It has only been within the last twenty or so years when the critical nature of excessive sun exposure has been brought to life. Even then, what we saw initially was a transition from sitting under the sunlight covered in baby oil to lying comfortably under UV lamps. This proved that our knowledge about UV exposure was limited. Today, we see the fullest picture yet: UV exposure, whether from sunlight or tanning lamps, can cause skin cancer.
So, the younger generations have more awareness about sun protection. Where does that leave you? If you spent years being inadvertently put in harm’s way, how do you manage the future health of your skin? This question is especially poignant for individuals who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. Regardless of the type of skin cancer diagnosed, most people who have undergone treatment struggle with underlying fears that their cancer will return. No one should live in a state of continual worry. However, knowing the risks of skin cancer recurrence opens the door to productive communication between you and your doctor.
According to studies, having skin cancer is not the only factor in the development of new cancers, or instances of recurrence, though it is a notable one. Patients who have undergone initial skin cancer treatment are encouraged to be aware of their risk (but not worry about it). After skin cancer treatment, the future of dermatologic health can be protected with frequent skin cancer screenings in the dermatology office as well as at home.
Details Regarding Different Types of Skin Cancer
- Treatment type counts. In one study, the chance of recurrence of basal cell carcinoma was measured at approximately 10 percent for patients treated with standard excision. Mohs patients, on the other hand, had less than 1 percent chance of developing new BCCs within five years of treatment.
- For both initial and recurrent skin cancers, the risk is higher for people with naturally red hair.
- Careful observation is essential for approximately two years after treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. Studies have indicated that UV damage that occurred in tissue surrounding an initial lesion may present as further SCC at some point.
- People who have been diagnosed with melanoma are at a higher risk for all types of skin cancer throughout their lifetime.
We understand the frightening nature of skin cancer and want to remind patients of our Teaneck, NJ office that annual skin cancer screenings can provide peace of mind that dermatologic changes are being carefully observed. Schedule your skin cancer screening at 201-836-9696.