Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Mohs surgery’

Did you know Elisabeth Taylor had a Basal Cell Carcinoma? …

January 9, 2012 5 comments

… She had one removed from her cheek in 2002 apparently, as I discovered today.  Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) doesn’t discriminate: whoever you are, whatever your background, it can take hold if you’re not careful in the sun!

And, did you know that George Bush Senior used Efudex to treat pre-cancerous growths? I didn’t but the photo below allegedly shows the effect it had on his face. Just goes to show how extreme the effects of this treatment can be! Poor man.  I’m glad I didn’t have to go out in public looking like that as the skin on my nose never got quite that bad; a bit crusty in places yes but not quite as ‘angry’ looking as this.

Efudix and George Bush

Efudix takes hold on George Bush Senior's face.

Having gone through Efudix treatment, and come out the other end, has made me very reflective and driven my desire to find out as much as I can about Basal Cell Carcinoma, its causes and treatments.  And, in doing so, I came across this presentation which gives a good overview of the condition and talks about the different types of BCC. Worth a look.  Also, I’ve found this video showing the Mohs micro-graphic procedure being undertaken on a patient’s face. Not for the squeamish but lets you see in detail what the procedure entails. I had my BCC removed by Mohs and it helped (after the event, it must be said. I don’t think I could have gone through with the op if I’d seen this beforehand!) to understand how the specialist who performed my procedure was able to ascertain quite how much skin and tissue to cut out. A rather scientific and seemingly accurate process for ascertaining the degree of spread of a Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Advertisements

Basal Cell Carcinoma and Efudix – what I’ve learnt …

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Not much change in terms of the appearance of my nose since my last post – still a little pink (and more obvious if I’m hot) but, not much to write home about. It’s clearly now just a matter of waiting – I’ve got sensitive skin at the best of times and the skin on my poor ‘ole nose has had quite an assault of late so it’s no wonder it’s taking a while to calm down.  Patience is clearly the key. The main thing is, my treatment is over and I’m well on the road to recovery.

It’s been quite a journey and I’ve learnt a number of things along the way:

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer
  2. It’s considered malignant despite the fact that it rarely metastatises or results in death
  3. Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of cancer in Europe,  Australia and USA
  4. Around 3 out of 10 Caucasians develop Basal Cell Carcinoma in their lifetime. That’s quite a statistic!
  5. Instances of Basal Cell Carcinoma are on the increase in the UK – despite increased sun awareness?!  Let’s not forget that basal cells are very slow growing and occurence could be linked to a sun burn in childhood
  6. Sun bed users are 70% more likely to develop a Basal Cell Carcinoma before the age of 40.  If that’s not a reason to stop using sunbeds, I don’t know what is!  There are some fabulous fake tan products out now if a tan is your thing
  7. There are a number of potential treatments for Basal Cell Carcinoma including excision, Mohs micrographic surgery, electrodesication, cryosurgery, radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy and ‘topical treatment’ with Fluorouracil!
  8. Fluorouracil comes in many guises (it has a number of different brand names): Efudix, Efudex (the cause of much confusion on my part when I first started this blog!), Carac and Fluoroplex.
  9. Fluorouracil is used to treat actinic/solar keratoses (a pre-malignant skin condition) as well as Basal Cell Carcinoma.

    10. Whilst the effects of Efudix treatment aren’t particularly pleasant, they’re not necessarily totally unbearable. As I’ve said all along, I count myself lucky that I haven’t had to treat my entire face with Efudex and that the effects were manageable.

I guess the main lesson I take away from this whole journey is that Efudix is prescribed for a reason and however unpleasant the treatment is, it’s better than the alternative. So, if it’s been prescribed to you, do the sensible thing and start applying it today.  Good luck with your journey!

Read more…

Day 6 – Efudex follow-up for Basal Cell

November 1, 2011 3 comments

Another day with little to report – no obvious physical effects other than a slight ‘pinkishness’, and the dry patch on the right side of my nose (on the opposite side to my basal cell interestingly enough) seems to have got a bit bigger.

Out at a marketing conference and exhibition all day today and kept wondering how much longer I’ll be able to go out and about in public without thinking twice about it – or rather, what other people will think about me. I’ve read how others using Efudix have ended up scaring little children because their faces have ended up so red and scabby!  Quite how bad is mine going to get?

Found this interesting article today – about a new, alternative to Mohs micrographic surgery for basal cells that’s being used in the U.S.  Not sure if this approach has been adopted in the UK as well.

%d bloggers like this: