Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
I'm a man aged 65 but, despite always using high-factor sun protection and being careful outside during summer months, last week I was diagnosed with a small (about 5mm diameter) bcc on the left side of my nose just above the nostril. I've had a consultation with a specialist who explained the surgical procedure he intends to use to excise the area, including the possibility of grafting skin from my left cheek, if necessary, to help repair the wound.
To say that I was distressed at the thought would be putting it mildly and I'm wondering how I could get a second opinion to find out if there is a topical treatment, such as Imiquimod, that could be used to treat the area instead of surgery?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi AngusMac and welcome to the online community
I'm sorry to hear that you've recently been diagnosed with a BCC on your nose. It must have been very distressing to discover this and to hear that you need surgery to remove it.
Could I suggest that you come and join us in the skin cancer group as, unfortunately, you'll find lots of people in that group who have had BCC. Clicking on the link I've created will take you directly there and you can then copy and paste your question from here into a new post there after selecting 'start a discussion'.
There are people in that group who have had BCCs removed both by surgery and by using either imiquimod (trade name Aldara) or 5-FU (trade name Efudix) and they will be able to share their experiences with you.
How the BCC is removed usually depends on where it is and how large it is and there is more information in this leaflet produced by BAD (British Association of Dermatologists). Did the specialist you saw rule out using a cream or is the use of a cream something you've found about after your consultation?
If the consultant hadn't talked about using a cream to remove the BCC then your quickest way of looking into that would be to arrange to speak to him again. However, if he dismissed this idea and you want to get a second opinion then clicking here will tell you how to go about arranging that.
Do come back and let us know how you get on and I'll look out for you in the skin cancer group.
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Many thanks for your reply and links. I've joined the skin cancer group and am just about to download the leaflet. My young consultant seemed too keen to operate and dismissed my enquiry about trying a topical treatment before resorting to surgery. Although I've had two fairly serious ops in my time, going under the knife has never bothered me in the slightest - until now. The thought of having a procedure on my face has filled me with dread and I'm not sure if I could bring myself to go through with it.
On Wednesday, I will be having further tests for possible cancers elsewhere in my body as I'm currently exhibiting symptoms of pancreatic cancer which has already taken two members of my family within the last 20 years.
My thanks again for your kind reply.
I've just replied to your post in the skin cancer group with much the same as I posted here so that people looking for the same information as you in the future might stumble across it.
If you take a look at some of the recent posts in the skin cancer group you'll find lots of people, like yourself, who dreaded having surgery on their face. Hopefully you'll find reading about their experiences helpful in making up your mind.
There are also lots of people who have gone down the cream route and I'd recommend that you take a look at their experiences too before you decide which treatment you want to have.
I really hope you don't discover you have pancreatic cancer too and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you tomorrow.
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