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Old 07-11-06, 03:14 PM   #1
daredevil
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skin cancer

Had a biopsy done on a small patch on my temple. Turns out to be squamous cell carcinoma. Over 50 is one of the factors. Anybody had this? Insight anyone? Supposedly 95% curable.
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Old 07-11-06, 03:59 PM   #2
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oh, yea, been there, done that

My fair skin under the Texas sun has suffered 2 score & 13 years:

Had 3 cancers removed from my nose - the 1st by simple whacking in the 1970's, the 2nd two by Moh's Procedure in the 90's then had abrasion to remove the top 'cancery layers' in the new millenium.

I never leave the house without 40+ waterproof sun screen on nose & ears, wear a dorky bike helmet with the longest bill projection I could find - needless to say that I never take advantage of the '10 tans for 20 bucks' offered at my local gym...

Don't mess around with skin cancers - & now that one has been found, you'll have to go EVERY year & have the doc check you over and carve bits & pieces off to be biopsied - at least a colonoscopy is good for 3 - 10 years depending on the results. My lovely wife claims she'll love me even after I've lost my nose so long as we keep riding together.
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Old 07-11-06, 04:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daredevil
Had a biopsy done on a small patch on my temple. Turns out to be squamous cell carcinoma. Over 50 is one of the factors. Anybody had this? Insight anyone? Supposedly 95% curable.
Man, the dermatologist just bought an airplane off of my skin!

Squamous cell and Basal cell are rampant in CO.

You will be fine.

I have several basal's waiting to be removed right now - I just don't want to ruin my summer with the healing required for Moh's surgery, which is what Ineed. I will wait until fall.

I see the dermatologist every 6 months or more often.
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Old 07-11-06, 06:30 PM   #4
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I go to a specialist jul 21st. Spot removed last Oct (liquid Nitrogen) has returned.
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Old 07-12-06, 02:13 PM   #5
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So far, I have had two basal and one squamous cell carcinomas removed from head and neck. The latest in 2000. The squamous seems to get more attention from the experts. I gather that they show a higher return rate than basal. I believe that, with vigilence, cure is near 100%. Just keep an eye on it and try to cover up or limit exposure. You will be fine, I'm sure. Melanoma now, is another kettle of fish entirely.
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Old 07-12-06, 02:26 PM   #6
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Basal cell carcinomas never kill anyone, but squamous ones can and do, although with early diagnosis and proper treatment it should rarely happen.
The more common thing is actinic keratosis, a precursor of squames. This can be frozen off with liguid nitrogen or nowadays treated with a cream trade name ALDERA. The stuff is expensive but does the job well by increasing local immunity to the precancer and then basically your own immune system eats it up.
My friendly dermatologist friend told me after treating some actinic keratosis "your ultraviolet cup runneth over!" Basically after a certain amount of ultraviolet radiation over the years, your limit is reached and much more exposure will result in actinic keratosis which can progress to squamous CA.
Melanomas are a cancer of the melanin (pigment) containing cells and can be lethal. Don't get paranoid or neurotic about every freckle, but check yourself from head to toe fairly frequently say after a shower, in a mirror to see EVERY bit of your skin, even in the hair of your scalp and between the legs parts. Better yet have your wife or significant other go checking and you never know what might happen! Look for any increase in size, irregular border, changes in pigmentation, etc. Any changes see your Doc.
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Old 07-12-06, 03:03 PM   #7
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Bobkat,

Thanks for the info. Here is a site with quick overview of actinic keratosis

http://www.skincancer.org/ak/index.php
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Old 07-12-06, 08:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info everyone. All very helpful.

I see a dermatologist Friday. I'm curious how he will treat it. In researching the topic, I learned of a procedure called Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Anybody heard of that? Did any of you have that procedure? It appears to have the highest cure rate and is the current state-of-the-art treatment. Should I be looking for a doctor that can perform that?
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Old 07-12-06, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daredevil
Thanks for the info everyone. All very helpful.

I see a dermatologist Friday. I'm curious how he will treat it. In researching the topic, I learned of a procedure called Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Anybody heard of that? Did any of you have that procedure? It appears to have the highest cure rate and is the current state-of-the-art treatment. Should I be looking for a doctor that can perform that?
I have had it twice and am scheduled for a 3rd time.

You go into the surgeon's office planning on staying all day. They cut out a portion and run a lab test immediately. If they got all the CA, you go home. If not, they cut again. and on and on. Both times they got all of mine the first time, and I went home. It is named after the surgeon who invented it.
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Old 07-12-06, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
I have had it twice and am scheduled for a 3rd time.

You go into the surgeon's office planning on staying all day. They cut out a portion and run a lab test immediately. If they got all the CA, you go home. If not, they cut again. and on and on. Both times they got all of mine the first time, and I went home. It is named after the surgeon who invented it.
I realize now, duh, that it was your post initially that had me look into this Mohs procedure. I'm curious if my doctor can perform it. Do you suppose it's pretty common now? I live in a pretty small area and am also wondering if my guy doesn't do it, if I should look elsewhere.
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Old 07-12-06, 08:26 PM   #11
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I had a Melanoma remove from my chest area last summer. After my first surgery the spot was tested and my dermatoligist wasn't satified that enough of the area had been removed so a second surgery was performed. I have been cancer free ever since.

I might add that I had a wart burned from the thumb print area of my right thumb on the first visit. The pain with the wart removal was much worse than the pain from the surgery.

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Old 07-12-06, 08:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daredevil
I realize now, duh, that it was your post initially that had me look into this Mohs procedure. I'm curious if my doctor can perform it. Do you suppose it's pretty common now? I live in a pretty small area and am also wondering if my guy doesn't do it, if I should look elsewhere.
IMHO, you need a "specially trained" Mohs surgeon.

EDIT

Actually, a good dermatologist can remove most. When I saw a Mohs surgeon, it was on the referral from my regular dermatologist.
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Old 07-13-06, 08:06 AM   #13
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I've had Mohs twice, both times from a specialist dermatologist surgeon in Houston who did hundreds of them every year. It was inconvenient to drive an hour and a half but the technique is very efficient as DnvrFox describes. They trim the least amount of flesh surrounding the area, freeze it, slice it very thin & examine each slice carefully for cancer cells. This manner allows them to see x-sections of the affect spot & if they have to do a 2nd slice, they only take it where the cells show up in the x-section. My nose has had 2 & initially the scars were about as deep & wide as a quarter. Over time they've filled in and shrunk almost to invisibility. I think it's worth the trouble to find a Mohs specialist, at least from my experience.
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Old 07-14-06, 09:35 PM   #14
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Got some good news today when I finally got in to see the dermatologist. It was misdiagnosed. Turns out it was simply a good sized wart which he was able to remove.

He said not to be too hard on the pathologist that made the mistake. He also said that if he'd been the first one to see it, he wouldn't even have recommended a biopsy. Shows the importance of seeing a specialist first if you can.
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Old 07-14-06, 09:48 PM   #15
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I have had about 25 of those ak's removed. Luckilly no cancer to date. I watch carefully and if anything seems amiss, I go to the Doc and ask him to look at it.
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Old 07-15-06, 06:44 AM   #16
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I should remind everyone to be sure to use sunscreen! I personally use the highest number stuff I can find.
Yesterday, though, I started a long ride and 10 miles down the way realized I hadn't slobbered with it. I hit every convenience store I went past, few and far between out in the rural areas of ND. After 40+ miles in 95 degree clear weather I finally found one that had it. By this time my skin felt as dry as a buffalo chip. I'm medium rare this morning and would bet on a new crop of AK's. Now I have 2 tubes in my bike pack.
I'm looking for a long visor for my helmet but can't find one. Because of the upright position on a LWB bent the regular visors don't do much good. Anybody know where I can get one?
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