After the melanoma has been removed, you will see your skin cancer specialist again for a follow-up appointment.
During this appointment, your doctor or specialist nurse will examine your scar and the surrounding area. They’ll also check your lymph nodes. Which lymph nodes they check will depend on where the melanoma was:
- Leg – The lymph nodes behind your knees and in your groin will be checked.
- Chest, back or abdomen – The lymph nodes in your groin, armpits, above the collarbones and in the neck will be checked.
- Arm – The lymph nodes around the elbow, above your collarbones and in the lower neck will be checked.
- Head or neck area – The lymph nodes in the side of your neck, under the chin, above the collarbones, behind your ears and at the back of your neck will be checked.
Your specialist will also check the rest of your skin for any signs of new melanomas. Some people may have photographs taken of their skin, and some of their moles measured. This is just a way of checking for any changes that may develop.
How often and for how long you’ll have follow-up appointments will depend on the stage of your melanoma. Your specialist will discuss this with you.
You’ll be shown how to examine your skin and what to look out for. This will help you spot any signs of the original melanoma coming back, or another melanoma developing, as early as possible.
After you’ve had a melanoma, you’re at more risk of developing another primary melanoma. So you’ll also be given advice on protecting your skin from the sun (see below).