If you have had a biopsy done on a skin growth on your body and the results concluded that it is cancerous, your doctor will most likely recommend you have it removed as soon as possible to avoid spreading of the disease throughout your body. After having surgery, you will need to rest and allow your skin to heal with the aid of prescription medication and proper dressing of the wounded area. Follow-up care is not limited to medication and bandaging, however. Here is a summary of what you can expect when going to follow-up visits after your skin cancer surgery.
Evaluating For Recurrence
After your surgery is completed and you begin to heal, your doctor will have you come into the office to check the skin to see how it is healing. You will asked several questions pertaining to how you are feeling to see if you are healing as quickly as you should. If the cancerous cells were not all removed during the surgery, there is a chance of them recurring within the skin. Your doctor will give you an estimate of recurrence rate for your specific situation and will continue to monitor you for signs that the cancer has returned. Imaging and blood tests may be administered to check to make sure all cancerous cells have been eradicated and that they are not returning.
Enjoying A Healthy Lifestyle
After having skin cancer surgery, your doctor will most likely go through a list of lifestyle changes you should follow. You should stay out of direct sunlight and always use an appropriate sunscreen when outside. Cover yourself with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wear a wide-brimmed hat when you know you will be exposed to harmful rays. Cease smoking and maintain a healthy diet. Exercise regularly to increase your energy level, helping you to regain your strength after the surgery.
Dealing With Long-Term Effects
Your doctor will inform you about your risk for long-term effects as a result of your skin cancer surgery. Sometimes, several years after surgery, a person will get cancer again if the surgery coincided with radiation therapy used to help keep the original cancer from spreading. If you had skin cancer on your face, you may need to have several reconstructive surgeries to regain your original appearance. This may take several months or years to complete. Physical therapy, emotional support, and counseling may be recommended in these instances. Voice your concerns to your doctor and make sure to take advantage of any help they recommend in these cases.
For more information about skin cancer surgery, contact a professional like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center.