Usually one return visit is all that is needed to examine the healed surgical site or to remove your surgical dressings. Afterwards, you may return to your referring physician for routine check-ups. A follow-up period of four years for the treated cancer is essential. After having one skin cancer, statistics show that you have a higher chance of developing a second skin cancer. You should have your skin checked by your referring dermatologist at least once a year for four years not only to examine the treated skin cancer, but also to check for new skin cancers.
The best protection from skin cancer is to avoid the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Even if you tan easily, the sun can contribute to skin cancer in two ways. First, the sunlight damages the genes that control cell growth, and second, sunlight damages the body’s immune system so that early cancers grow unchecked by normal immune defense. Minimize exposure by: 1. Using any sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and preferably with UVA/UVB protection when you spend any time in the sun. The most effective sunscreens have special stabilizers. These include Neutrogena with Helioplex, and those with Mexoral. 2. Avoid sun exposure during mid-day hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). 3. Do not stay outdoors unprotected on cloudy days since the ultraviolet light penetrates easily through the clouds. 4. Sunscreens approved by our physicians are available for purchase as a convenience for our patients and to be sure you are able to practice adequate sun protection.
If you follow this advice it may not be necessary to restrict your outdoor activities or change your lifestyle.
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Mohs Surgery and Surgical Dermatology for Skin Cancer