After treatment for melanoma

Follow-up

After treatment finishes, you will come back to the clinic to see your specialist. How often you see them and how long you do this for depends on the melanoma you had. It is important to go to these appointments. It can help to make a note of them in your phone or diary.

At the clinic, your nurse or doctor will show you how to check your skin and what to look out for. Use the ABCDE checklist so you notice any mole changes early.

Always get in touch with them straight away if you are worried about anything.

Sun safety

When you have your follow-up appointments, your nurse or doctor will also give you advice about sun protection.

After you’ve had a melanoma, you are more at risk of getting another one. Protecting yourself from the sun helps reduce this risk, so this is really important for you.

Following these tips will help:

  • Avoid going out in strong sunlight between 11am and 3pm during the summer in the UK or hot countries abroad.
  • Protect yourself whenever you go out in the sun. Use high-factor sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Put it on often (using the directions on the bottle), and especially after swimming.
  • Cover up when you are in the sun. Wear long sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat, and trousers or a long skirt or sarong.
  • Wearing sunscreen does not mean you can stay out in the sun for longer. The best protection is to cover up and stay out of strong sunlight.
  • Never let your skin burn.
  • Avoid using sunbeds. If you want to look tanned, use fake-tan.

It is important to take care in the sun, but you do need some sunlight to make vitamin D. This helps keep your bones and teeth healthy. If you don’t have much sun exposure, your vitamin D levels can get very low. When you are diagnosed with melanoma, you will have a blood test to check your vitamin D level. If your vitamin D level is low, your specialist will talk to you about the best way to increase it. They may suggest you take vitamin D supplements.

Back to Melanoma

What is melanoma?

This section is for teenagers and young adults. It is about a type of skin cancer called melanoma.

Having tests for melanoma

If you have symptoms, your GP will examine you and decide whether to refer you to a hospital specialist for further tests.

Treatment

Melanomas in young people are usually found early and cured. Surgery is the most common treatment for melanoma.