Does basal skin cancer always need to be excised to be cured?
Many people get basal cell skin cancers, and many often end up getting the Moh's surgery done to make sure all is removed. In areas such as an upper lip or eye area, where you especially don't want scarring, (or anywhere on the face), are there any other options? I have heard of special creams for instance, that can be an alternative. Open to hearing any thoughts, experiences or recommendations in a very cosmetically sensitive area, before having a Moh's procedure. As of now, the area looks as if nothing is wrong whatsoever, after a biopsy of a small bump has been taken and healed over.
Paula, I not a person who frequents doctors. I haven't had an annual check-up for about 50 years. I never had a mammogram or a colonoscopy, and I'm 70 years old. If I have something like pink eye or an infection that won't clear up or perhaps a herniated disc that exercise won't help, I seek out a doctor. (I don't have a Primary Card physican). I say this only so you know where I'm coming from.
So about three years ago, my husband had a very suspicious large, raised brown spot on his back. I told him he HAD to go to the dermatologist and I went along with him. The doctor took one look at his back and said, "No worries."
Then she asked if I wanted her to look at me. "What the heck", I thought, "- as long as I'm here.". She told me my back was like porcelain and seemed very pleased with me ! Then she looked at my face. She noticed the tiniest spot, not even the size of a pencil point, above my lip. She said "Hmmm..." and I quickly told her, "Oh that's just nothing. It just appeared this week. I must have scratched myself or something." "Well, she said, "come back if it doesn't go away." Three months later, no matter what I had put on it, (Vicks - I use Vicks for everything), a bandaid, hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar -- no matter what I did, that spot kept sort of bleeding and simply wouldn't go away. I went back to the dermatologist and the doctor did a biopsy. Yep, it was basal cell carcinoma. I think if I hadn't seen her initial reaction to a little dot, I might not have believed in her credibility. But the fact that she recognized my husband's brown spot as innocuous, yet had identified that spot as serious, helped me to accept her judgment completely. I had the Moh's surgery. It took several passes to get it all, and I thought for sure I would just have to live with a scar because initially with all the stitches, it wasn't exactly a beautiful sight. However, after I came in the office weeks later, all that was left was a little bit of raised scar tissue which the doctor explained would be lessened simply by pressing on the tissue. (I hadn't realized one could or should do that). So now, I have absolutely NO SCAR above my lip. If you asked me to show you where exactly the stitching was, I couldn't. So that's my experience and I hope it will help inform your decision. I have utmost trust in my dermatologist and am thankful for her expertise. Best wishes, Billie
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