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Living with Melanoma

Frequent follow-up exams are needed to see if the cancer has reoccurred.

Even if a melanoma tumour has been removed and is considered cured, frequent follow-up exams are needed to see if the cancer has reoccurred. The timing of these visits will depend on the specifics of the case. People who have had melanoma are 10 to 25 times more likely than patients who have never had it to develop a second melanoma.

At your follow-up appointments, your doctor will check for swollen lymph nodes and do a general physical exam.

The number of follow-up visits you will need depends on the stage of the melanoma when it was diagnosed. In addition to the physical exams, blood and imaging tests may be recommended.

Be aware of changes in your skin between visits and report any suspicious areas to your physician. You should:

  • continue to thoroughly examine your skin every month for new or changed spots and sores
  • avoid overexposure to the sun
  • protect yourself from the sun by wearing long-sleeved clothing and hats, and using sunscreen. Avoid being in the sun during the peak sun hours in the middle of the day.

 

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Melanoma Skin Cancer

  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital