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Non-sunbather with bcc - overreacting?

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2005

I'm a nearly 40-year old male in Washington State that was recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. It's on my forehead above my left eyebrow, and had been there for far too long (I thought it was just a pimple that hadn't healed correctly), so it's also deep. I'll be having MOHS surgery in 3 weeks, and since I'm told I need to be very careful over the next 5 years, I'm taking every precaution to avoid UV exposure (even though I never was much for being in the sun). Most of my clothes have been treated with Rit Sun Guard, I wear gloves and a wide-brimmed hat while outside, and put UVA & UVB SPF-45 on my face if I'm outside for longer than 30 minutes.

My question is: am I overreacting? My concern is that just because I got BCC this time that I might get another form of skin cancer next time, maybe something not so "easy".

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your opinions.



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Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Luke! I hope your Mohs surgery went well! I am an almost 40 (ok ok, 36) year old woman and I too was diagnoised with BCC, the first time over 15 years ago (just a spot on the arm, I too thought it was a pimple) and two years ago by my ear and one year ago another Mohs procedure by the same ear. I've only had the Mohs 2 times, by the ear. I am pleased with the cosmetic result but in the very beginning you feel like it's not going to heal well..what with it being on your forehead I'm sure it'll be more annoying for you. I too never was one much for the sun and I use the Rit Sun Gaurd..I don't wear the gloves but do try and wear the hat..I use sun screen all the time, mostly on my face, summer and winter, get a moisturizer with it and that makes it easier, put it on in morning before you go out then carry a little tube with you to reapply when you are out more often. I am rambling now, sorry. I don't think you are overracting, though I think after a few years if there is no recurrence you will feel less edgy about it (though you should still take the precautions obviously) When I had my first BCC I was only 19 and I wasn't too concerned because they just zapped it off like a wart or such, the dermatologist was very low key about it, didn't even give me the sunscreen lecture (which wasn't really needed anyway) but when I had to have the Mohs just two years ago I was worried that the next skin cancer I got would be worse, so far it seems like the BCC just keeps cropping up, so while that's bad enough..I'm less anxious about getting a "worse" cancer though not less vigilant. So hopefully this will be your first and last Mohs or any treatment for skin cancer or any other! Again, good luck .. sorry for the rant and let me know how you are doing!

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2005

Thank you so much for the reply, as well as the insights. I did get through the MOHS surgery last Thursday, and the cancer was much more developed than they expected. :( They went back 3 seperate times, taking much more than I anticipated (I'm not sure how "tall" they had to take, but the scar went from less than 2 inches to over 4. :( But the good news is they get it all, and I'm still here. I will have to undergo a full-body scan in the next few weeks sometime as there's one more potential bcc spot on my right leg that's been there for over 5 years, and some odd shaped and colored moles as well, so there is cause for more concern. I'm taking this one day at a time, keeping my faith, and being diligent about protecting myself from uv. Thank you for your experiences. =)

soldiersgirl's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2005

A full body scan, Luke? Why is that? I've not heard of that with Basal cell.

I've had MOH's on my inner eye (2 years ago) and they also went in 4 times. Isn't it a horrible feeling! Actually, I was very naive and my dermatologist was so comforting, that I had no idea how deep he went in. It was at the Plastic Surgeon's office..........when the nurse handed me a mirror! NEVER LOOK IN THE MIRROR! oh my.

Luke, you bring up some important issues that I'll most likely write on a separate thread... but I wish you the very best!

Your forehead will heal before you know it. Our bodies are amazing! Did you have skin grafting? I'm assuming that would be the case.

Let us know how you are, Pleae.

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