Skin cancer

A place for people affected by any type of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Mohs or Aldara

Posted by

I have had an area of concern (to me) on my nose for over 3 years.  Have been to the dermatologist numerous times during this period and she said it was nothing.  I finally insisted on a biopsy and it came back as superficial basal cell.  

They are recommending Mohs surgery but I am nervous about it as it is in a location (right side tip) that could possibly require extensive reconstruction surgery.  I had a consult with the surgeon this weekend and he said the lesion appears small and probably wouldn't require reconstruction (forehead flap) but wouldn't know for sure until they did the surgery.  

I asked about using Aldara and both my dermatologist and Mohs surgeon agreed I could try that and then be reevaluated after that treatment.

Now I'm reading all the scary reviews of bad side effects online for Aldara.  

Can't decide if I should just do the Mohs or try the Aldara.

I had Mohs 13 years ago (also on my nose but on the far side-2 passes).  The closure was just 7 stitches and no scars left behind.

Mohs just freaks me out because you are lying there and you don't know what the outcome is, meanwhile they continue to cut more off your face and you have no control over what is happening.  I also don't know thnik I could handle the forehead flap agony.

Has anyone on here had a successful outcome with the Aldara without terrible side effects.  I realize the site area will get red, scabby and awful looking but i am more concerned about the systemic effects.  And did it work for you.

Posted by

Hi and a warm welcome to the online community

I haven't had either procedure so can't help with experiences I'm afraid but I wanted to take the opportunity to welcome you to the group.

There are quite a lot of people who have both types of treatment in this group and, while you're waiting for replies, you could use the search bar in this group to look for previous posts. Simply typing in 'Aldara' or 'Mohs' should bring up plenty of posts for you to look through and you could always respond to any that you think might be able to help you further.

Let us know what you decide to do


 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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Posted by

I have recently finished using Aldara. I haven’t had surgery so can’t comment on that. Aldara made me feel really dreadful for 3-4 weeks. So poorly I barely went out or did anything. However I am aware that not everyone feels like that. Also one of the two lesions reacted so severely I was advised to stop using Aldara on it after 5 weeks. I have had to have two bouts of antibiotics because of the infection and inflammation. It has also been extended painful. Still not out of the woods with it. However I must say the other lesion I had gave me no issues or problems. So again not everyone experiences what I did. 

After my experiences would I use Aldara again? I don’t think so. I have had a really miserable 6 weeks. In hindsight surgery would have been all over by now. However this is just my personal experience. I am sure other people will tell you using the cream was fine. You just don’t know how the cream will effect you, you may well be absolutely fine. 

Posted by

Thanks for the reply.  Your reaction matches a lot of reviews I have read about this drug online.  It seems a large percentage of people who use this drug have bad reactions.  

I'm leaning on going with the Mohs.  I figure if I used the Aldara for 6 weeks I will look and probably feel horrible and if it doesn't work would have to do the Mohs anyway.

I'm a bit concerned about the Mohs being this is on my nose and the probability of having some kind of reconstructive surgery is likely.  I am planning to do this in January so will be a good time just to hunker down at home until I am presentable to go out in public.

Posted by

Whatever you choose to do I hope it all goes well with you.