For people who have had any form of nonmelanoma skin cancer, recurrence is a possibility. There is also a risk for developing another skin cancer of any type, including melanoma. That’s why it’s vital to receive regular checkups, even after a skin cancer has been completely removed. You should also conduct self-examinations, keeping an eye out for any changes in the appearance or texture of your skin from head to toe. Some parts of the body, such as the lips and ears, are more likely to develop recurrent skin cancers than others. Additionally, people experiencing a suppression of their immune system due to a disease or medication are at a higher risk for having a skin cancer return.
Skin cancer recurrence can be classified in one of the following ways:
- Local recurrence – The cancer returns at the same site.
- Regional recurrence – The cancer comes back at another part of the body near the original site.
- Distant recurrence – The cancer develops at another part of the body distant from the original site.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we understand that recurrence is a common fear for skin cancer patients. However, patients in our Cutaneous Oncology Program are in the most capable hands. Our oncologists are highly experienced in monitoring skin cancer patients for recurrence using state-of-the-art radiology tests. In addition to CT scans, MRIs, bone scans and mammograms, more advanced testing may also be performed, including tumor markers, bone marrow biopsies, and blood work. Our patients also have access to support groups, social workers and supportive care services such as yoga and massage to relieve stress, minimize symptoms and enhance mind-body recovery.