Learning that you have melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, can be frightening. Even though melanoma is highly treatable when diagnosed early, your life after melanoma diagnosis might be very different depending on how serious your melanoma is.
Luckily, there are several ways to deal with a melanoma diagnosis and handle the changes in your life after receiving a cancer diagnosis. In this article, we’ll give you 4 tips that can help you deal with a melanoma diagnosis.
1. Seek Treatment Right Away
Most of the time, when your dermatologist spots something on your body that look like skin cancer, they perform a skin biopsy to confirm it and determine its stage.
After giving you a diagnosis and staging your skin cancer, your dermatologist will devise a treatment plan. Typically, when found in the initial stages, melanoma can be cured by excision surgery, a simple procedure that is performed in your doctor’s office. However, if cancer has spread, surgery becomes complex and must be performed in an operating room. If your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or other tissues in your body, your surgeon may have to remove them. In addition, you may also have to undergo radiation and/or chemotherapy to kill all the cancer cells.
So, after receiving a melanoma diagnosis, don’t hesitate to seek treatment right away so that it’s easier for your dermatologist to treat it, and easier for you to recover.
2. Learn About Melanoma
Even though you may not want to read more about your condition, learning about melanoma is important because the more you learn about your type of skin cancer, the more you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your treatment. Remember, the best source of information is your dermatologist. You can ask your dermatologist about your cancer, its treatment options, prognosis, and much more.
3. Shield Your Skin
If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma in one part of your body, it means that you’re at risk for developing it in other parts of your body as well. Therefore, it’s important to protect your skin to prevent further cancerous spot development. To do this, you can follow some basic sun-safety tips.
- Don’t spend too much time outdoors, especially when the UV index (intensity of the sun’s rays)is high
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go out in the sun
- Cover your skin with long sleeves, pants, and a hat when going out in the sun
- Use extra sun protection when taking medication that makes your skin more sensitive to the sun
4. Connect with Others Who Can Empathize
After receiving your skin cancer diagnosis, your loved ones can only do so much to comfort you. Unless they have also been diagnosed with melanoma at some point in their life, they can’t fully understand what you’re going through. So, connecting with people who currently have skin cancer or have had it before can help you feel less alone and help you through your treatment.
Melanoma Diagnosis in South Florida
At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, our board-certified dermatologist T.J. Giuffrida, MD is highly trained in diagnosing and treating any kind of skin problem, including skin cancer. Through early detection of melanoma and surgical and nonsurgical procedures, we not only effectively address your melanoma but also educate you on its warning signs and preventions.
To set up a consultation with our board-certified dermatologist, call us today at (305) 461-2000 or use our appointment request form. When you trust Dr. Giuffrida with your care, you will receive the highest quality treatment and all the support you need through this trying time in your life.