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Old 04-30-2008, 01:49 PM   #21
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I have had two basel cells removed. The first was a red dot surrounded by a faint red circle on the back of my calf. Didn't look like any picture of a basel cell I've ever seen. It was tiny and easily removed.

The second was a pink bump on my chest. Easily removed and left a hardly noticeable scar.

Follow up was a full body check every six months for a year then with no further problems, a check every year. The problem became my paranoia because every weird looking skin thing prompted me to go back to the dermatologist! The first year was very expensive indeed.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:23 AM   #22
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It is VERY treatable, and it's likely that the removal is the only treatment you'll need. However, you're now considered higher risk for all skin cancers (including melanoma), as are your parents, siblings and children (at least, according to the skin cancer society's web page).
Thanks, Urchin. I did not know that.

I had a basal cell thingy chopped off my ear. My barber brought it to my attention. He said that they are trained to notice such things. (And we thought licensing barbers was hocum!)
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:37 PM   #23
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I received the test results today when I got my stitches out. The mole was actually an age spot and the bumpy thing next to the age spot (looked wart-ish to me) was a nevus. Nothing abnormal but I am very glad they are both gone! They made me paranoid. They were at my hairline at my temple and I saw them whenever I looked in the mirror.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:09 AM   #24
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Buckeye, glad to hear that your bumps came back as negative. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

I had my Mohs surgery earlier this week. I am the proud owner of 8 stitches on my forehead. I feel fortunate with the location of my boo-boo, as the other patients getting treated at the same time as myself seemed to be having parts of their noses and around their mouths hacked off.

All I can say is everyone should remain vigilant and never be too scared to haul yourself off to a dermatologist to get those suspicious spots out. I am sure that my case was so easily treated because I was quick to find it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:55 AM   #25
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Now that you've had one basal cell, you should be vigilant for more basal cells or other small skin cancers crop up as time goes on. It seems like once the skin's defenses fail to get rid of a basal cell, the field effect allows other skin growths to continue.

Best thing to do is to make sure and wear serious sun protective lotion faithfully - including sun protective lip balms, start covering up in the sun ( arms, ears, neck) and wear a hat.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:56 PM   #26
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Now that you've had one basal cell, you should be vigilant for more basal cells or other small skin cancers crop up as time goes on. It seems like once the skin's defenses fail to get rid of a basal cell, the field effect allows other skin growths to continue.

Best thing to do is to make sure and wear serious sun protective lotion faithfully - including sun protective lip balms, start covering up in the sun ( arms, ears, neck) and wear a hat.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:05 PM   #27
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The current mystery is whether sun blocking simply does not reduce the incidence of melanoma, or whether using them gives people a false sense of safety, so they allow themselves to stay in the sun longer, thereby negating the protective benefits of the various sun blocking efforts.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #28
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The sun can't have anything to do with the "between the toes" moles becoming cancerous. I know there is virtually no sun getting in there! What kind of cancers are those? Different than the ones on the tips of the ears?

Isn't the incidence of skin cancer increasing as we are increasing our use of sunblocks? I think Rich has a good point about feeling "safe" and spending too much time in the sun.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:35 PM   #29
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The sun can't have anything to do with the "between the toes" moles becoming cancerous. I know there is virtually no sun getting in there! What kind of cancers are those? Different than the ones on the tips of the ears?

Isn't the incidence of skin cancer increasing as we are increasing our use of sunblocks? I think Rich has a good point about feeling "safe" and spending too much time in the sun.
I see lots of melanoma patients at work, unfortunately. Skin cancer is commonly described among oncologists as melanoma or non-melanoma (basal cell, squamous cell and a few other rare birds). The relationship with UV is not as clear with melanoma as it is with the others. If I had a pigmented lesion between my toes I'd have it checked. They can also occur under the nail, and sometimes they present as badly metastatic disease elsewhere in the body, with the primary skin melanoma never identified.

Sitting in the shade near sunny locations still exposes you, so I recommend both sunscreen and shade. These clothes andn similar brands are good, too.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:27 PM   #30
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I've refrained from baking myself for years, have always slathered myself with sunblock. However, this latest little nasty was actually in my hairline on my temple, a place where I would never apply sunblock due to it messing up my hair. Makes me realise how vulnerable my scalp and the rest of my head is.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:09 PM   #31
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A few minutes ago DW got the test results showing the same thing on her nose. She'll go in for surgery tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:02 PM   #32
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T-Al, all the best to your wife, hope they manage to get the little buggar first time around so she doesn't have to waste all day waiting around. Does the Dr think that he got it early? Was it something your wife found or was it an annual check?
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:45 AM   #33
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I'll know more after today.

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Was it something your wife found or was it an annual check?
I suggested that she mention it to our GP when visiting him for something else. He didn't think it warranted further investigation (this may be last strike for him). I then convinced DW to go to a dermatologist.

Should our GP have caught it? I have to admit that it didn't look that unusual -- just like a normal little skin bump.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:55 AM   #34
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I'll know more after today.
Should our GP have caught it? I have to admit that it didn't look that unusual -- just like a normal little skin bump.
Tough call, Al. It's a balance between sending every patient with any dot to a dermatologist for expensive and unpleasant biopsies, versus missing the one here and there that does really need attention.

However, if your GP chose to watch and wait (not unreasonable in many cases) it is imperative to instruct the patient that there is a small chance that this is an easily treated early skin cancer, so watch it closely and if there is any change of any sort, call me for a referral. That's what I do; it is usually nothing, and patients do indeed call from time to time -- it's a little bigger, redder, tender, itchy, whatever -- and I refer. I have yet to have any serious problems with that approach.

Note that I am not referring to possible melanomas or aggresive squamous cell cancer, just to those that look like pre-cancers of the "actinic" type (basal cell, small squamous cell) and are quite small. I also refer faster if they are near the eyelids, and for a few other specific issues.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:41 PM   #35
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I just had a bcc removed a couple of weeks back. It was on my forehead, about an inch above my left eye. I've suspected it was something like that for a good while, but I procrastinated, then eventually went ahead & got the biopsy. Good thing it was bcc, because if it had been more serious, I might be very sorry I waited. I won't ever do that again. As it is, the fact that I procrastinated for a couple of years means that my scar is gonna be a good bit bigger. Once I had the diagnoses, my regular dermatologist told me that because of the location, and the size, he didn't feel confident that he could put me back together with the same expertise as a plastic suregeon. He declined to remover the bcc. He told me to find a plastic surgeon. So....just for a 2nd opinion, I went to a much larger town & consulted with a well known dermatologist, who said that he'd do it. He did say that repairing the wound afterwards could be tricky, due to the location (not a lot of tissue to repair with on the forehead) the apparent size of the cancer, and the angle (not just horizontal, but at 35 degree angle). In the end, I decided to take the first doc's advice, & found a plastic surgeon who convinced me during the consultation that I would be in good hands. Now, 2 weeks later, I'm very pleased with how it's healing, and am feeling like I made the right choice in surgeons. He had to do a couple of skin grafts from areas adjacent to the surgery site. I'd never heard of that before, but somehow he cut triangular skin flaps without completely detaching them, turned them around, and used them to nearly completely cover the outside of the site. It's a pretty big site, but the way it's healing is encouraging. He also told me that my cancer wasn't just one single spot, but was several smaller spots that, and that it appeared my immune system had been doing a pretty good job at trying to kill it off, but couldn't quite finish the job. I had areas of healthy tissue between the cancer parts. Anyhow, I REALL hope it's all gone....according to the on-site pathologist he got it all. However, I know from internet research, it's possible that it could still come back. You can bet I'll be taking this stuff much more seriously from now on.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:54 PM   #36
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Thanks for the post Marty...it reminds us all to take good care of our bodies.

I sure hope it's all gone!
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:38 PM   #37
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He had to do a couple of skin grafts from areas adjacent to the surgery site. I'd never heard of that before, but somehow he cut triangular skin flaps without completely detaching them, turned them around, and used them to nearly completely cover the outside of the site. It's a pretty big site, but the way it's healing is encouraging.
Sounds like one of these:

Optimal Design of O-to-Z Flaps for Closure of Facial Skin Defects, Jan/Feb 2003, Buckingham et al. 5 (1): 92 ? Arch Facial Plast Surg

Glad you got it dealt with Marty!
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:10 PM   #38
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martyb, glad you got it tended to. I've had a couple of basal cells removed from my arm and a squamous cell removed from my left temple. The basal cells didn't concern me much, but the squamous cell did. I go to a dermatologist every 6 months for check ups. My doc said I had the wrong kind of skin for the south and that based on the damage that he can see, I will have to stay on top of it. He freezes stuff on my face every time I go in.

Not to scare anyone, but the below story does show how quick it can get out of hand. A young football player from my old school died just yesterday from cancer that was traced to a lesion removed from his forehead. The article never did say, but he must have had a melanoma to spread a fast as it did. Very sad. He played in a football game just 5 weeks ago.

Bell loses short battle with cancer | Mississippi State sports
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:40 PM   #39
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Yes, that looks like the procedure I had...thanks for posting it!
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #40
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martyb, glad you got it tended to. I've had a couple of basal cells removed from my arm and a squamous cell removed from my left temple. The basal cells didn't concern me much, but the squamous cell did. I go to a dermatologist every 6 months for check ups. My doc said I had the wrong kind of skin for the south and that based on the damage that he can see, I will have to stay on top of it. He freezes stuff on my face every time I go in.

Not to scare anyone, but the below story does show how quick it can get out of hand. A young football player from my old school died just yesterday from cancer that was traced to a lesion removed from his forehead. The article never did say, but he must have had a melanoma to spread a fast as it did. Very sad. He played in a football game just 5 weeks ago.

Bell loses short battle with cancer | Mississippi State sports

Wow! That IS scary! And very sad. Same as you, I am constantly having things frozen on my arms & sometimes face, head etc. Last year around Christmas, I did the Efudex treatment. Now that wasn't a lot of fun! I thought it had taken care of the spot on my forehead, because it disappeared for awhile, but unfortunately it came back. That's why I decided it was time for more drastic action. You can bet I'll be staying on top of that stuff from now on.
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