Skin Cancer (cont.)

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What about follow-up care for skin cancer?

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Skin cancer has a better prognosis, or outcome, than most other types of cancer. It is generally curable. Even though most skin cancers are cured, people who have been treated for skin cancer have a higher-than-average risk of developing a new cancer of the skin. This is the reason why it is so important for patients to continue to examine themselves regularly, visit their doctor for regular checkups, and follow their doctor's instructions on how to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer again.

How about vitamin D and cancer?

Some recent reports suggest that getting vitamin D from sun exposure may prevent the occurrence and spread of cancers, both of internal organs and of the skin. In spite of the occasional controversy surrounding these studies, their common-sense implications are simple enough. Even those doctors who recommend sun for vitamin D only suggest 15 minutes a few times a week. For most people, especially those who have day jobs or live in cooler climates, following this advice is not likely to result in markedly higher risk of skin cancer. No responsible authority suggests that to help with vitamin D, people ought to sunbathe or visit tanning salons. Vitamin D is also available in pill form. Oral vitamin D can cause medical problems if taken in high doses. Patients should only use oral vitamin D under a doctor's supervision.

What resources are available to patients with skin cancer?

Skin Cancer Foundation
245 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2402
New York, NY 10016
212-725-5176

This nonprofit organization provides publications and audiovisual materials on the prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer. The foundation also publishes Sun and Skin News and The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal, which have nontechnical articles on skin cancer. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the above address to receive free printed information.

American Academy of Dermatology
PO Box 4014
Schaumburg, IL 60168-4014
708-330-0230

The American Academy of Dermatology is an organization of doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating skin problems. It provides free booklets on skin cancer and can refer people to dermatologists in their local area.

American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
444 East Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
1-800-635-0635

This society sends free information about various surgical procedures. It can also provide the names of board-certified plastic surgeons in a patient's area.

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/14/2014

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Skin Cancer - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with skin cancer.
Skin Cancer - Treatments Question: How was your skin cancer treated?
Skin Cancer - Basal Cell Carcinoma Question: Describe your basal cell carcinoma and the exams or tests that led to a diagnosis.
Skin Cancer - Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have been effective for your squamous cell carcinoma?
Skin Cancer - Follow-up Care Question: What did your doctor instruct you to do for followup care after your skin cancer was treated?
Skin Cancer - Symptoms Question: What kind of skin cancer symptoms did you experience?
Skin Cancer - Treatment Question: What kind of skin cancer treatment did you have?
Skin Cancer - Types Question: What type of skin cancer did you have?
Skin Cancer - Mole Question: Have you ever had a mole that turned out to be a skin cancer?
Skin Cancer - Location Question: Did you have skin cancer on your face, nose, scalp, lips, or somewhere else?