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I’ve Just Been Told I Have Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Newly Diagnosed

Being told you have skin cancer can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your health care team to help.           

Keeping positive

The good news is that most nonmelanoma skin cancers are easily treated. It’s not common that they spread to other parts of the body.

Coping with fear

It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about your cancer and about the treatment options you have can make you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your health care team and make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.                                                                                                                         

Working with your health care team

Most nonmelanoma skin cancer can be treated by a dermatologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating disease of the skin. If your cancer is more advanced, you may also have other types of doctors on your team. These may include:

  • A surgeon

  • A medical or radiation oncologist

  • An oncology nurse

They will answer any questions you may have. They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.

Learning about treatment options

To decide the best course of treatment for you, your health care team needs to know as much as they can about your cancer. This may involve getting some tests and working with more than one doctor or other type of health care professional. And you may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment.

Getting support

Coping with cancer can be stressful. You can talk with your health care team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also visit support groups to talk with other people coping with cancer. Ask your health care team about local support groups.

 
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