Something Is Wrong
I had what I thought was a scar on my nose for many years. At one point, about five years ago, it was bothering me so I had my regular doctor look at it. He told me it was just a scar and my glasses had irritated it. I was satisfied with this diagnosis from him.
Again, the growth on my nose was starting to bleed, be irritated, etc. so I went to see my new doctor who took one look and referred me to a dermatologist. At this point, I started to become concerned about it.
Trip to the Dermatologist
I was a little bit confused when the nurse told me to strip down to a gown when I was there for a growth on my nose, but I did it.
In came the doctor who took one look at my nose and told me I might have Melanoma Skin Cancer and she had to do a biopsy.
Then she grabbed a bright light and started to check me all over. Low and behold, she found several spots that were also pre-cancerous, which she then froze.
I thought I would have to come back but no, she started to the freeze spots and did the biopsy at the same time. I was told that if it was skin cancer, I would have to come back to have it removed.
The Biopsy Diagnosis and Treatment
I was diagnosed with having Basal Cell Skin Cancer and not a Melanoma Skin Cancer, which was better news but still scary to me. Therefore, I had an appointment to come in right away to have it removed and the other areas checked again to make sure they were gone. I was shocked and scared at the same time since they were not fooling around about things.
Taking care of the wounds afterwards was a surprise too. The only thing you do is to keep the frozen areas clean and covered with a little bit of everyday petroleum jelly. This is what the doctor did after she removed the cancer and just to keep it covered for a few days then remove the bandage. I was expecting antibiotic cream or something else not just petroleum jelly to put on the wound.
My Knowledge of Skin Cancer
I never thought that freckles, moles or age spots could become skin cancer at any time. My skin is very fair and I have freckles from head to foot now that I am older. I even have one inside my eye and it checked every year to make sure it is not cancerous or growing.
I have always used sunscreen when I was at the beach, etc. but now I use it when I go out in the sun for anything. I use 30-50 SPF sunscreen and I try to remember to wear a hat as well.
I did not know that it is a hereditary trait to have skin cancer. I know that this is true now since I have several family members who have had both Basal and Melanoma Skin Cancer.
In addition, what I did not know or understand is that skin cancer can cause death. I just thought it was no big deal unless it was Melanoma.
I would need to be re-checked every three to six months for skin cancer for how long I really do not know. Most likely, the rest of my life since skin cancer runs in the family! I worry that every spot that shows up on my body is skin cancer now.
This involves the doctor and a nurse looking at every inch of your body under a bright light and touching what catches their eye as a possible problem. Even between your toes! If you are a modest person, you will not be for long!