Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Skin Cancer

I have been battling skin cancer. I have had so many suspicious areas removed I am about to lose count. I guess all those years in the tanning beds are catching up with me.

So far all of the sites have come back as Basal Cell Carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting approximately one million Americans each year. In fact, it is the most common of all cancers. These cancers arise in the basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (top skin layer). Basal cell carcinomas are easily treated in their early stages. The larger the tumor has grown, however, the more extensive the treatment needed. Although this skin cancer seldom spreads, or metastasizes, to vital organs, it can damage surrounding tissue, sometimes causing considerable destruction and disfigurement — and some basal cell carcinomas are more aggressive than others.

This is my latest removal.

The site and the size required an actual surgical procedure. I ended up with 5 internal stitches and 10 external stitches.
This site was nothing more than a red spot at my temple. My doctor found it on my 6 month skin check. (because I have had so many I go for 6 month skin checks. Most full skin exams are done yearly unless you have a history). This site was particularly bad because it was growing deeply and spreading under the skin and only presenting as a small red dot at my temple.
So if you have any questionable moles or spots on you skin. Go get them checked out!!
Be careful in the Sun. Wear your SPF and don't get burned!!


ElleBee said...

Wow! I hope your recovery is going smoothly. Thanks for sharing this. It's really important that folks know how dangerous it can be to go out without sunscreen!

ilex said...

Oh my goodness Carolyn, I had no idea! May your stitches not itch too much.

But I hope isn't incredibly tacky if I say-- I think that will be a really cool scar. Forehead scars are sexy. My husband concurs.

Jody M said...

Here's hoping you find no more.

Mom had a BCC on her nose, had it removed and a skin graft, too. She was really self conscious about it for a while, but it is healing well.