Print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Self-care with melanoma

Senior woman applies sunblockThere are many things you can do to take care of yourself after you have had a melanoma.

Have regular checks

If your melanoma was stage 1 or 2 (not spread outside the skin), you will need to have a check-up every three to six months for five years after your surgery. Your GP will do this, unless you choose to see a private dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

As part of your follow-up your doctor will explain self-examination. This is how to check for any new or changing moles, or lumps in areas close to where your melanoma was removed.

If your melanoma was more serious – stage 3 or 4 (spread locally or around the body), you'll be followed up by hospital specialists. This will be a plastic surgeon and/or an oncologist (cancer doctor).

Stay vigilant

When you've had melanoma, you're at increased of getting it again. You should keep doing self examination checks for the rest of your life.

See your GP immediately if you notice any new or changing moles or lumps.

Protect your skin from the sun.

You may want to pay to see a private dermatologist. You can search for a private dermatologist on Healthpoint.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2021.

Page reference: 47268

Review key: HIMEL-15455