The Melanoma, Skin Cancer & Mole Thread...

Oct 15, 2015
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Although basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) rarely metastasize, they can be locally destructive. They will continue to grow and can really cause problems, especially when on the face. What you can see with your eye may only be the tip of the iceberg, and the Mohs surgeon works to remove things on a microscopic level. Depending on the type of BCC and the location, there are several other options (regular excision, radiation, topical chemotherapy, destructive lasers, "scrape/burn"). Mohs surgery has by far the best cure rate (lowest risk of recurrence) and is only used on high risk sites/patients, large skin cancers.

another way to look at it... getting it treated as soon as possible, with the most effective method will result in the best scar/outcome. If you wait, or inadequately treat and the cancer recurs, the surgery later on can only be larger.
 
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Clayster

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Oct 26, 2005
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elpescador said:
As a teenager and surfer in the 70's our goal was to be as tan as humanly possible. All day, everyday at the beach in the summer, minimal protection, etc. I topped that off in my 20s and 30s with a year and a half in Guam and another 3 1/2 in Hawaii.

Which leads me to a Mohs procedure last Monday for a small squamous cell on the right cheek, and most likely
more of that in my future. I'm 59. Still got the bandage on and will take a look at the damage tomorrow morning.

That being said, any thoughts on alternatives to Mohs? Seems like there was a lot of cutting and burning for
a spot that small. At least they got it all. The pamphlet says the process can take 1/2 a day as they analyze
the initial removal/sample, then continue the process if it looks like there's more.
I fried growing up surfing in the sixties and seventies. I'm 64 now and have been having skin cancers (basal cell) removed since my twenties. My first was on my nose and a dermatologist removed it in a non-mohs procedure. He thought I was too young to have cancer, so he just scooped it out. Turns out it was cancer, but he thought he got it all, so did nothing else. He was wrong. The roots of that basal cell grew down into my nose, but finally appeared on the surface many decades later. The Mohs surgeon had to cut a big chunk out of my nose, and plug in meat from behind my ear to fill it in. He did a hell of a job, and it looks fine, but my right nostril is at least 50% occluded from scarring. That experience is why Mohs surgeons are your best option: they only take out what they think they need to take, but don't close you up until they have examined your tissue under the microscope and found clean margins. If they don't find that, they go back in and take some more out to make sure they have it all.

I've had six Mohs procedures in the last four years, and yesterday my dermatologist biopsied another spot on my nose that made need a Mohs procedure. If you catch it early enough, you come out looking fine.


Another reason why Mohs doctors are the ticket is because that is all they do, and most of their surgery is on the face. They get very good at removing all the cancer, and closing the patient up with minimal-if any-scarring. Plastic surgeons who do Mohs aren't as good, because the bulk of their practice is typically other things, boob jobs, face lifts, etc.
 

$kully

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Feb 27, 2009
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I've had many moles cutoff and sent for biopsy. I'm covered and have the history in my family. Father had melanoma on his head. Just got the call on my recent biopsies this past week. 2 of 3 came back "atypical" but not cancerous. Upper chest and shoulder blade. Going back to remove more tissue next week.

As most of you have said I'm reasonably cautious with sunblock and covered up. I'm rarely shirtless in the sun for any extended period of time and my gf makes fun of me for wearing long sleeves to the beach. Personally I prefer covering up over slathering myself in chemicals whenever possible.
 

gbg

Michael Peterson status
Jan 22, 2006
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My younger brother who just turned 40 and is a gamer and had only brief times in the sun was just fucking scalped to remove cancer. Im convinced it was his baseball caps he always wore. Toxic chemicals.
 

rts265

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Oct 19, 2007
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Just noticed this on leg that doesn’t get much sun.

Any diagnosis?

https://imgur.com/a/2miGZN8
 

surfflexx

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If you just noticed it you don’t know if you’ve had it a long time and during that time has it changed. Get checked, better safe than sorry. My friend just went to get a hernia surgery and the doctor doing surgery told him to get the mole on his stomach checked. Turned out stage 4 melanoma. Be safe.
 

surfflexx

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If you just noticed it you don’t know if you’ve had it a long time and during that time has it changed. Get checked, better safe than sorry. My friend just went to get a hernia surgery and the doctor doing surgery told him to get the mole on his stomach checked. Turned out stage 4 melanoma. Be safe.
 

hgsouth

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Apr 15, 2006
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mtnsrf said:
Although basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) rarely metastasize, they can be locally destructive. They will continue to grow and can really cause problems, especially when on the face. What you can see with your eye may only be the tip of the iceberg, and the Mohs surgeon works to remove things on a microscopic level. Depending on the type of BCC and the location, there are several other options (regular excision, radiation, topical chemotherapy, destructive lasers, "scrape/burn"). Mohs surgery has by far the best cure rate (lowest risk of recurrence) and is only used on high risk sites/patients, large skin cancers.

another way to look at it... getting it treated as soon as possible, with the most effective method will result in the best scar/outcome. If you wait, or inadequately treat and the cancer recurs, the surgery later on can only be larger.
Had a bcc on my nose at 31 a few years ago. And I caught it EARLY because I go to the dermo frequently. It was just a small white bump but looked "odd" because it didn't look like anything else on my body. It didn't bleed or anything. However, the scoop they took out of my nose with Mohs was large and they only had to do 2 passes. So, get them looked at quickly if they're on your face and you don't want major scarring. Had a plastic surgeon put my nose back together under anesthesia and you can hardly tell, but part of my nose is permanently numb.

Now I go every few months out of an abundance of caution and anxiety hah
 

afoaf

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Jun 25, 2008
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had Mohs today....10 passes...7 hours in the office

I had it once before on nose and was in and out quick, can't even
see where they stitched it up....today's procedure was the polar
opposite...brutal.

towards the end the surgeon said that the affected area was so
large that she needed to refer me to a plastic surgeon to close
the wound because if she did the suturing, I would be guaranteed
a pretty heavy scar.

head is currently wrapped up and throbbing...head feels like I got
hit with a fkn bat...eye swelling shut.

super pissed...this was in an area where I had a blunt force injury
that split my head open...it was acting weird but when I saw the
(other) dermatologist about it, she said it looked fine....but it wasn't
healing right and generally being weird so I went back, albeit after
a long interval....second opinion recommended biopsy....kicking myself
for being slow to act, particularly given family history of skin cancer
on both sides

enjoy the surf...south bay is all but guaranteed to be good for the
next two weeks you fakas.
 
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littlewave

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Nov 15, 2009
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had Mohs today....10 passes...7 hours in the office

I had it once before on nose and was in and out quick, can't even
see where they stitched it up....today's procedure was the polar
opposite...brutal.

towards the end the surgeon said that the affected area was so
large that she needed to refer me to a plastic surgeon to close
the wound because if she did the suturing, I would be guaranteed
a pretty heavy scar.

head is currently wrapped up and throbbing...head feels like I got
hit with a fkn bat...eye swelling shut.

super pissed...this was in an area where I had a blunt force injury
that split my head open...it was acting weird but when I saw the
(other) dermatologist about it, she said it looked fine....but it wasn't
healing right and generally being weird so I went back, albeit after
a long interval....second opinion recommended biopsy....kicking myself
for being slow to act, particularly given family history of skin cancer
on both sides

enjoy the surf...south bay is all but guaranteed to be good for the
next two weeks you fakas.
Dayum. Heal quick!
 

afoaf

Duke status
Jun 25, 2008
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saw plastic surgeon today and he said we had to reschedule
because it's worse than he was led to believe during the referral

worried about nerve damage and loss of eyebrow/eyelid control

may require skin graft to close

surf was absolutely pumping today

fkn losing it
 

Autoprax

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Jan 24, 2011
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When my sister got hers, shes call my into the room where she is having the Mohs done. This is 5 passes and 8 hours later.

She has this gnarly hole in her nose. I had to brace myself to keep my cool.

She asks me, "Skin graft or pull the skin?"

The surgeon ask her if her brother is a dr.

She says, "No, but he's a know it all."

I went for the no graft.
 

manbearpig

Duke status
May 11, 2009
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in the bathroom
Damn Afoaf that sounds rough. Always more swell, get healthy. Go for a hike or something get mind off surf.

I just had a mole I’ve had all my life that inflamed and popped. Went to derm and he scraped it off sending it for testing. They said probably nothing to worry about, never had a mole randomly become inflamed like that Before.
 
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emmohl80

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Oct 17, 2010
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Had a bcc on my nose at 31 a few years ago. And I caught it EARLY because I go to the dermo frequently. It was just a small white bump but looked "odd" because it didn't look like anything else on my body. It didn't bleed or anything. However, the scoop they took out of my nose with Mohs was large and they only had to do 2 passes. So, get them looked at quickly if they're on your face and you don't want major scarring. Had a plastic surgeon put my nose back together under anesthesia and you can hardly tell, but part of my nose is permanently numb.

Now I go every few months out of an abundance of caution and anxiety hah
BCCs can be white?
 

emmohl80

Nep status
Oct 17, 2010
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saw plastic surgeon today and he said we had to reschedule
because it's worse than he was led to believe during the referral

worried about nerve damage and loss of eyebrow/eyelid control

may require skin graft to close

surf was absolutely pumping today

fkn losing it
Heal up! Don't focus on missing a swell. Always gonna be more waves! :shaka:
 

afoaf

Duke status
Jun 25, 2008
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this is a very big hole....

forehead skin doesn't travel as much so he doesn't think he
can actually pull it shut with just the surrounding tissue

at least this doc prescribed some legit pain meds

after suffering the CVS inquisition I went home and finally
got some sleep.

I wish they weren't such fkn assholes at pharmacies when
it comes to pain meds....
 
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