I wish I could say, "I've been on a cruise," or "on a deserted island," or even "watching Soaps and eating Bon-Bons". ANY of those would have been more acceptable and easier to believe. Except for me I suppose.
Mid-May my Dh and I went to the Sonoran Desert Museum for a free skin check since our state is #1 for skin cancer. I suspected my Dh would have cause for concern, he has numerous moles on his back. I never, never, EVER suspected I would be the cause of our worry.
Sure, I am a blue-eyed, fair-skined gal..who spent a goodly amount of her teenage years in the sun. Slathered with Baby Oil, NEVER with SUN-SCREEN, isn't that why you laid out there for hours in the first place. Not to mention I only could attain a dusty shade of tan, but was really good at the burn-and-peel mode.
The Physician at the free skin check said I had a spot at my hairline that was of some concern. I just thought it was just an ugly bump. Never itched, changed color or size, etc. You know, all those they tell you to watch for.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It can be destructive and disfiguring. The risk of developing BCC is increased for individuals with a family history of the disease and with a high cumulative exposure to UV light via sunlight.Treatment is with surgery, mohs surgery, topical chemotherapy, X-ray, cryosurgery, or photodynamic therapy. It is rarely life-threatening but, if left untreated, can be disfiguring, cause bleeding, and produce local destruction (e.g., eye, ear, nose, lip). As with squamous cell carcinoma, the incidence of basal cell carcinoma rises sharply with immunosuppression and in patients with inherited defects in DNA repair.Basal cell skin cancer almost never spreads; however, large and longstanding tumours may metastasize into regional lymph nodes and surrounding areas such as nearby tissues and bone.
I followed up with his office and "gave" a sample for biopsy. Moh's Micrographic Surgery was ordered, and below is my "after". Yeah, shorty hairs and all. I had to change my part for the grow-back, and that scar will all but be hidden.
While I was in for #1 Surgery, the surgeon took a "sample" of a spot he suspected, but the Dr. didn't spot. Oh joy, #2 surgery was scheduled, and he removed about the size of a dime. Gave me a new smile line. *ahem*
#2 surgery performed, and the surgeon says he wants another sample in another spot of my forehead. Oh joy, #3 surgery was scheduled for a squamous cell carcinoma. This pic is a before. The after was about the size of another dime, I had it done yesterday.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common cancer of the skin (after basal cell carcinoma but more common than melanoma). It usually occurs in areas exposed to the sun, and can generally be treated by excision only. Sunlight exposure and immunosuppression are risk factors for SCC of the skin. The risk of metastasis is larger than with basal cell carcinoma.
Mohs Surgery, created by a general surgeon, Dr. Fredrick E. Mohs, is microscopically controlled surgery that is highly effective for common types of skin cancer, with a cure rate cited between 97 to 99% for basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, and for squamous cell carcinoma. It has been used in the removal of melanoma-in-situ, but this is an unproven treatment. Because the Mohs procedure is micrographically controlled, it provides precise removal of the cancerous tissue, while healthy tissue is spared. Mohs surgery is relatively expensive when compared to other surgical modalities. However, in anatomically important areas (eyelid, nose, lips), tissue sparing and low recurrence rate makes it a procedure of choice by many physicians.
So that spot you have? You know which one I mean, yeah, THAT one. Go get it checked. I seriously didn't have a clue, I caught them very early but still got sizable scars and some doozy of headaches as a recovery present. It could have been SO much worse. I have otherwise healthy skin, and I'm still young. I've used sunscreen for the last 10 years and hopefully won't have many more issues. I'm on 6 month check-ups for the next 5 years, not bad when you consider the options or alternatives!!!
I'm doing fine. Thanks to you who have asked. Just got the wind knocked out of my sails a bit.
I'm back! You're stuck with me, and I'll still be a little sporadic in posting. I just do the best I can!
(definitions courtesy of Wikipedia)