Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
Hi.. First time posting here. I've recently been told by a dermatologist that I have a basal cell carcinoma. I've been referred to the hospital and awaiting my date now. A few questions if anyone has any similar experiences and can help... I'm a 34 year old female and the leasion is on my chest wall. It appeared 2 months ago literally overnight as a 1cm itchy spot/patch that kind of looked like a bite. I was told it was fungal then maybe excema so have tried steroid and fungal cream to no avail. Saw a derm the other day and he (without any testing) said its possibly basal cell. My questions are... Would basal cell just pop up overnight from clear skin? Also it blanches when pressed? Would basal cell do this? I guess I'm just trying to get a clear picture as I'm extremely worried. It's not scaly at all. And only itches slightly. Doesn't bleed or ulcerated? Any advice greatly appreciated. I know the waiting list for the hospital is long so just trying to create some peace of mind. [edited by admin]
Hi K1mbers and welcome to the online community
I'm sorry to read that your dermatologist thinks you may have a basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Please take comfort that you have done the right thing in going to see your GP who has in turn referred you to a dermatologist. The dermatologist can tell a lot about your lesion just by looking at the skin as he will be aware of the likely signs and symptoms.
Whilst it's only natural to worry, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. Most are very slow growing and very rarely spread which is why there's often a long wait between diagnosis and removal.
Most BCCs are removed by simple surgery and are done under a local anaesthetic. The tissue will then be sent off to be biopsied and as long as the BCC has been removed with clear margins you're not likely to need any further treatment.
I hope this helps you to worry less.
Do pop back if you have any further questions and also let us know how you get on
PS I'm afraid your photo will soon be removed by the moderators as it breaches the Community guidelines which do not allow photos asking for medical opinions to be uploaded to the site
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Thanks for the quick response. I think it's all just come about as a shock. I'm a mother of two and obviously freaking out. But as I've only had it for 2 months I would think its been caught early anyway. Fingers crossed. Il let you know what happens. Thanks again x
It's only normal to be shocked K1mbers but I'm sure you'll get lots of support from this group if you need it.
One thing that I forgot to say was that you must be careful in the sun from now on, if it is a BCC, as you'd be more at risk of developing another. I've linked you to this advice from Cancer Research UK which tells you how you can protect your skin in the sun.
I too have to be careful as I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma nearly 2 years ago. I decided to look on the bright side of having to cover up in the sun by treating myself to a heap of suitable new clothes. Every cloud has a silver lining!
I have had 3 occasions where my dermatologist has found BCC and SCC tumors. She was able to do a biopsy and get results to me in about 4 days. It was a simple procedure and when the results came back she referred me to a surgeon that performs the MOHS procedure.
You might want to find a dermatologist that can do a biopsy. You will get the results quickly. Hope this helps.
I was wondering how you were following the news from your dermatologist?
I'm currently awaiting the results of a biopsy for suspected BCC and I'm just a little surprised that your dermatologist was able to diagnose BCC with out a test. That said, it's better to be safe than sorry. My lesion didn't appear overnight but had been there for a little while (it's on the side of my left nostril). It was only when I noticed it getting bigger that I decided to have it checked out.
The good news is that even if in your case it is a BCC with the right surgery (i.e. Mohns) you're looking at an excellent outcome. i would feel better if my suspected BCC wasn't on my face but, as the saying goes, things could be worse.
Just to butt in here Londongirl8, often a dermatologist doesn't need to take a biopsy to know whether a skin lesion is a BCC or not.
Quite often the symptoms of a BCC makes it obvious that it is one so an appointment is then made for removal. If they're not sure if it's a BCC then a biopsy will be performed, although again it's quite normal for the whole lesion to be removed so that a separate excision is not necessary after the results of the biopsy are back as long as clear margins were achieved.
Best wishes x
Thanks Latchbrook - that's helpful to know.
Since having my biopsy, the lesion looks quite different now (it was white before but now it's pink and doesn't look the same) - I don't know if that's a good or bad sign or whether I'm reading too much into it, but I'm trying to be patient and just wait for the results
p.s. I can see that you're here offering great support to others - can I ask how you are doing?
That's very kind of you to say so Londongirl8 and it's much appreciated!
You can see my journey with melanoma if you click on my username. I'm currently very well, just having three monthly check-ups of which my next one is 4 weeks away. I always get a little anxious just before even if I'm not expecting them to find anything. I have to listen to my own advice then!
All the best for your results x
Ahh thanks!..They do say that those who give the best advice are often the worst at taking it
I'm truly heartened to hear that you're doing well.
All the best for a abundance of good news that will last for a long time to come.
Hi, I just read your post and it resonated with me as I have exactly same symptoms and after seeing my GP because the lesion hadn't healed after eight weeks, he has referred me to a dermatologist, whom I will see December 12th. My GP's opinion is that it is Bowen's disease.(Pre- cancerous skin condition) I'm not too worried as this condition is easily treatable. Can I ask if you know anything about your own lesion yet? I wish you well and finger's crossed it is nothing serious.
I'm glad to hear you didn't ignore it. I've never heard of Bowen's disease and given my family history of skin cancer I really should be more clued up.
Hi, My dermatologist took a biopsy of several suspicious spots. It turns out that I had some Basel Cell and some Squamous cell tumors. I was then scheduled to see a surgeon who removed the tumors. Now all is well. I do go see my dermatologist every 6 months. Once you have had a bout with skin cancer you are more prone to get additional tumors. I hope all goes well for you.
I'm really glad to hear that your surgeries went well. Can I ask what type of procedures you had e.g Mohs surgery and did you need any skin grafts?
i did have Mohs surgery. The wound took 16 stitches to close. 6 internal and 10 external. I did not need a skin graft. It did leave a scar but I just see it as having a little street cred.
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