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Posts Tagged ‘Precancerous condition’

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.

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Final Efudix day – day 21!

November 17, 2011 3 comments

I can’t believe it, my three weeks of applying Efudix is finally over! I’ve just applied my final cream. It feels so weird, having dominated my life so much for the last three weeks.

Luckily, I didn’t get the horrid burning sensation I was expecting each day when applying the Efudix – I literally expected to be crying out as it touched my skin! Ridiculous really, was totally psychological tied up in the fact that I knew it was essentially eating away at any pre-cancerous cells it detected so I expected it to physically burn as I applied it (because this would be evidence that it was working I suppose – as if the hideous redness and scabbing hasn’t been evidence enough!). My nose has felt ever so slightly sore to the touch occassionally but I certainly haven’t felt burning upon application thank goodness.

From tomorrow, I’ve got to apply Vaseline to my nose every day until the Efudix effects dissipate. Hopefully that will be very soothing but I don’t anticipate being able to apply make-up over Vaseline so will either have to hibernate or face up to going out looking burnt and scabby. Watch this space … Oh dear, that sounds so vain.  I need to stop being so and just be grateful that the pre-cancerous cells have been killed off by the Fluorouracil  and I’ll shortly be able to put this whole thing behind me!

Having read other people’s experiences, I don’t think I’m quite out of the woods yet – it would seem that the cream continues to have an effect even after you’ve stopped applying it, but the end is in sight and at least I don’t have to go through the rigmarole of applying it every day. Hoorah!

Final day of Efudix treatment

Efudix treatment ends at long last!

Efudix attacks pre-cancerous cells – day 17

November 13, 2011 4 comments
Fluorouracil treatment effects day 17

Efudex causes sore bridge of my nose

My nose seems to have taken on a more uniform redness today and the bridge is starting to feel a bit sore.  As my nose gets redder and scabbier, the implications start to sink in – any skin that reacts to the Efudix is showing evidence of pre-cancerous cells that could have developed into a Basal Cell Carcinoma if left untreated! Whilst I expected the skin to react to the Fluouracil and for the effects to get worse over time, I’m still shocked (I’d go so far as to say overwhelmed) every time I look in the mirror.  It’s no surprise that my nose is taking on such a uniform redness really as my nose used to sunburn badly when I was younger and that’s what clearly caused the damage.

I just wish I could be more rational in dealing with this experience – I’m an intelligent woman, I’ve done my research so know how the Efudix works and what to expect but I’m still finding it difficult. I’m so emotional and find myself filling up with tears at the slightest thing – I guess I’ve got too much thinking time on my hands at the mo so need a distraction. The problem is I don’t feel very sociable – I’ve cancelled a couple of catch ups with friends for exactly that reason.  Must stop feeling sorry for myself and just get on with it …

Found an interesting piece of research today – a sleeping sickness drug that has a significant protective effect against basal cell carcinoma. Will be keeping my eye on developments.

Day 3 with Efudex

October 29, 2011 2 comments

Another two treatments with Efudex and still no obvious effects.  I approach each application with trepdidation thinking today’s the day it’s going to sting, so find myself very carefully dabbing the cream on and ever so gently smoothing it out. And, still applying it with Q-tips as though it’s some hideously caustic and toxic substance! Which, I suppose it is in a way – it is going to ‘eat away’ at any pre-cancerous cells it detects and result in some degree of redness/burn. I have to keep reminding myself that that’s exactly what it’s supposed to do and IF I do get stinging and redness, that’s actually a good thing – it’s exactly what the cream should do (as described by my consultant and the cream’s instruction leaflet). And it’s what my partner keeps reminding me. But, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier somehow.

As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I’m a little paranoid about the sun now – don’t want the reaction of the Efudex to be even more severe because I’ve exposed it to sun – so made sure I wore sunscreen and a hat when I went out earlier even though I was out for only a short period of time.

Oh well, let’s just focus on the positive – all’s fine now and , hopefully, going through this treatment will avoid me getting any further Basal Cell Carcinoma’s on my nose in the future. And, tomorrow’s another day…

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