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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.
Follow up with your oncologist as directed:
You will need to be seen at least every 3 months for the first 2 years. After that, your oncologist may want to see you every 6 months. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UVA UVB) rays:
- Wear sunscreen that has an SPF (sun protectant factor) of 15 or higher: Make sure it has UVA and UVB protection. Follow directions when you use sunscreen. Put on more sunscreen if you swim, sweat, or are in the sun for longer than an hour. Protect your lips by using lipsticks and lip balms that contain sunscreen.
- Stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM: This is when the sun is strongest and most damaging to your skin.
- Wear protective clothing: Long-sleeved shirts and pants will protect your arms and legs when you are out in the sun. A wide brimmed hat can protect both your face and neck. Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
- Do not use tanning booths: These can damage your skin as much as the sun can.
- Look for new bumps on your skin once a week: Check your entire body, including your scalp. Look for moles that change in shape, size, color, or texture. Know what your regular birthmarks and moles look like.
For more information:
- American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street
Atlanta , GA 30303
Phone: 1- 800 - 227-2345
Web Address: http://www.cancer.org
- The Skin Cancer Foundation
149 Madison Avenue, Suite 901
New York , NY 10016
Phone: 1- 212 - 725-5176
Web Address: www.skincancer.org
Contact your primary healthcare provider or oncologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have a mole that changes in shape, size, color, or texture.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- You have chest pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.