What to do next

To speak to a specialist cancer nurse,
freefone the Irish Cancer Society
National Cancer Helpline

1800 200 700

Mon - Thurs 9am - 7pm 
Fri 9am - 5pm

If you notice any unusual changes when you Check Your Skin, or have any concerns about your skin health it is important to discuss this with your doctor.

It is sometimes hard to remember everything you want to ask when the doctor is right there in front of you. The following list of questions has been put together as a guide to make sure you get all the information you need from your visit. It may also be useful to make a note of your doctor’s diagnosis and any other comments for future reference.
Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Will I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis? 
  • How long will I have to wait for the results?
  • What will happen when the diagnosis is confirmed?
  • What are the next steps?
  • What are my treatment options?
    o What are the side effects for each treatment?
    o How long will the treatment last?
    o What should I expect from this treatment?
  • Once I’ve had treatment is the problem likely to come back?
  • What changes in my skin should I look out for?
  • Am I more at risk of other skin conditions because of this diagnosis?

Here are some questions that your doctor may ask you. Try to give as much information as you can as this will help your doctor with the diagnosis.

  • When did you first notice this problem?
  • Have you noticed similar lesions elsewhere on your body?
  • Is the patch painful/itchy/uncomfortable?
  • Do you often get sunburnt/have you ever been severely burnt/did you get sunburnt when you were a child?
  • How much time do you spend outside?
  • When outside in the sun, do you usually cover up with a hat and long sleeves?
  • Do you routinely use sunscreen of factor 15 or higher?
  • Do you use/have you used sunbeds?
  • Have you received treatment for sun damaged skin or skin cancer before?

Treatment for actinic keratoses

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