If caught and treated early, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, as well as melanoma, can be cured. However, in some cases, there are complications, including cancer recurrence or the spreading of the disease to other tissues.
Skin cancer can come back. For example, squamous cell carcinoma is likely to recur within two years of having surgery to remove the cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. People who are diagnosed with skin cancer are also at a greater risk for a developing another skin cancer. If, for example, you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, you will have a greater risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma.
Performing regular self-exams of the treated area along with the rest of your body, as well as having your skin checked by a dermatologist at scheduled intervals, can help detect any changes that might signal a recurrence. If you spot anything suspicious, tell your dermatologist right away.
In some cases, skin cancer can spread. The cancerous cells can break away from the original tumor site and enter the blood stream or lymph nodes, allowing the cancer to travel throughout your body where it can invade other tissues or organs.