Most people treated for early melanoma do not have further trouble with the disease. However, when there is a chance that the melanoma may have spread to other parts of your body, you will need regular check-ups.
Everyone is different, so your doctor will decide how often you will need check-ups. They will become less frequent if you have no further problems.
We recommend at least a yearly examination by a doctor, as people who have had one melanoma are at increased risk of another in the future.
Protect your skin
After treatment for melanoma, it is important to avoid strong sunlight. The following steps are sensible guidelines for everyone. Whenever UV radiation levels reach 3* (moderate) and above, sun protection is required. At that level UV radiation is intense enough to damage the skin and contribute to the risk of skin cancer.
In Victoria from September to April, UV radiation levels are 3 and above for most of the day. Particular care should be taken between 10am and 2 pm (11 am and 3 pm daylight saving time) when UV radiation levels reach their peak. The SunSmart UV Alert is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when the UV Index is forecast to reach 3 and above. It is reported in most daily newspapers and some television and radio weather forecasts across Australia.
To protect against skin damage and skin cancer when the UV level is 3 and above, use a combination of five sun protection measures:
- Seek shade.
- Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
- Wear hats that protect the face, ears and neck.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard 1067 (sunglasses category 2, 3 or 4).
- Use SPF 30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, and reapply it every two hours.
From May to August, UV radiation levels in Victoria are usually low (below 3). Therefore, sun protection measures are not necessary during these months unless you are in alpine regions, or near highly reflective surfaces like snow or water.