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 healthcare team to help.

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 healthcare team and make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.

Working with your healthcare 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:

  • Surgeon. This is a doctor with special training in surgery to treat cancer.

  • Medical oncologist. This is a healthcare provider with special training to treat cancer with medicines.

  • Radiation oncologist. This is a healthcare provider with special training to treat cancer with radiation.

  • Oncology nurse. This is a registered nurse with special training to take care of people with cancer.

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 healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about your cancer. This may mean getting some tests and working with more than one doctor or other type of healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare team about local support groups.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Michael Lehrer MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2021
© 2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.