The diagnosis of skin cancer can be devastating. It is a scary time and you may be wondering what you should do next. If your skin cancer has been detected in its early stages your chance of survival is very good.
When you catch skin cancer early, you can have it removed and stop the cancer before it has a chance to take hold. Be sure to be pro-active about keeping skin cancer at bay. When you find it early on, you have a good chance of defeating it.
During the initial phases of skin cancer you will learn if you have a non-melanoma or a melanoma skin cancer. The beginning stages for these two cancers carry a very good prognosis for survival. It is quite uncommon for a basal cell carcinoma to advance past the second stage so the prognosis is excellent if this is the form of skin cancer you’re dealing with.
If you have been diagnosed with a melanoma skin cancer it can and does spread beyond stage I and II if it is not stopped. When it is found in stage I and II the survival rate for a melanoma over five years is almost 100%. If it is found at stage III the survival rate drops to 60%. This is a large drop and shows the importance of early detection as the biggest cure for melanoma skin cancer.
It is very important that you do a self exam at least once a month. See your physician regularly and be sure that a skin check up is included in your regular physical. Anytime you notice any suspicious lesions on your skin, be sure to see your doctor right away. If a mole or discoloration begins to change in color or shape, be sure to get to your doctor quickly.
You should also check with your doctor if you have a wound that will not heal. Obtain the description of what a melanoma skin cancer looks like from your doctor so that you have a good idea of what you are looking for when you do your self exams. You must be able to identify possible skin cancer.
In its early stage, skin cancer can be quite small. The average size is that of a pea. However, skin cancer will grow progressively larger. If left untreated, it will metastasize to other organs and progress throughout the body. As this happens, rate of survival drops exponentially. The more involved the cancer, the more involved methods of treatment become.