Viewer Comments: Skin Cancer - Describe Your Experience

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with skin cancer.

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Comment from: Mimi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I was diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer yesterday. Five weeks ago, I spent a week in Florida. Only two of those days were warm enough to wear short sleeves. While I was there, I noticed a spot on my arm that got red and irritated looking. After I got home, I called the dermatologist and saw him three weeks later. By then the area got bigger and part of the top formed a scab, which fell off and created a hole that bled. The dermatologist called me yesterday and said it was a small squamous cell skin cancer, and since it was removed, this is probably the only treatment. I have another appointment in two and a half months for a follow-up. I had a melanoma on my thigh six years ago. I had a wide excision and follow-up with blood work and chest X-rays for five years. I am very fair (100% Irish) and got a lot of sunburns when I was a kid. I would just like to encourage people to not ignore anything on their skin because the sooner it is removed, the better the outcome. And I am still shocked at how quickly this came on and that it is cancer. It is scary to hear the word cancer in your diagnosis, and it does help to talk to other people who have gone through the same thing. I'm happy to report that I'm doing well and am encouraged that this new skin cancer was caught early.

Comment from: Hazel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 03

I had a lump unlike a spot on my wrist in 2008 after being assured by my doctor that it was nothing to worry about it was up to me if I wanted it removed, of which I chose to have it removed the following week buy another doctor who asked if i wanted it removed for vanity reasons! Any way it was removed and after having the stitches taken out i went away on holiday only to return to a phone call from a plastic surgeon for me to attend an appointment that week, where i was told that it was malignant melanoma. Within 10 days I was in hospital to have a bigger margin removed and also a node removed that drained that part of my arm. so after a week i went back to the plastic surgeon to have stitches removed from my wrist and under arm where i was told cancer cells had been found in my node so within the month i was back in the hospital for all the nodes to be removed from under my arm, not an operation to be taken lightly. That was 3 years ago now I was on a drug trial after the operation but it didn't agree with me so I was taken of it but I got checkups every 3 months for 3 years that also included a brain scan, a mammogram, a bladder scope, and also another lump being removed which was not cancerous, also I went into menopause at the age of 44. I've had bad days in those three years but they are getting fewer, but have had a painful hip for the last 4 months so I'm just waiting for an appointment to come in for a CT scan. I think I am very much a lucky one but there are days when I'm just waiting for it to come back. I'm sure there will come that I don't think about it every day.

Comment from: ck, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I am a 43 year old white female. I am fair skinned (Irish/German descent). I had what I thought was a sore on my right external ear in the middle part (thin narrow cartilage part) below top curve of the ear and above the ear canal. I thought it was a pimple or bug bite and picked at it. I forgot about it for a few days and then felt a hard, raised bump. I showed it to my husband and he said I should go to the doctor as it looked like a volcano! I estimate that I had this for about 5 or 6 days by this time. I went to the doctor on Monday 11/22/10, my doctor thought it was a tick or spider bite, he numbed it and poked around but could find nothing. He called it an ulcerated cellulitis and prescribed doxycycline for 10 days. I came back 8 days later (11/30/10) to my doctor and it was about the size of a 1cm. He thought it looked like a skin cancer tumor that he would see on an old man! I went to my ENT specialist, he did a shave biopsy - report came back as squamous cell carcinoma. I was shocked. He was going to remove it at the local community hospital and do a skin graft. I prayed and consulted with family and friends and went to a cancer hospital on 12/15/10 and had a dermatological surgeon do the Mohs Surgical Procedure and had it removed. She said it was Squamous Cell Carcinoma or it could be Keracanthoma but either way the treatment would be the same. I still cannot believe it. I have an appointment with a dermatologist after the fist of the year. I will use sunscreen. I will stay out of the sun. I will have regular skin checks. I want to do everything I can to avoid a recurrence. Do not let your loved ones go unprotected in the sun. Avoid getting sunburned. See a dermatologist to get your skin checked. Preserving your life is worth it!

Related Reading: doxycycline

Comment from: vincent, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I am a 53 year old woman. Being blonde and blue-eyed, I have very light skin. In my younger years, I played and worked in the sun a lot. I would describe my use of sunscreen as sporadic. My mother had skin cancers throughout her life; she had several incidents of squamous cell carcinoma. At least one time, she had a melanoma (on her nose). Recently, I tripped on some metal stairs and injured both of my shins. As they healed, they both produced hard and irregular scar tissue. The one on my left leg was painful to the touch, red, and had a raised "bump." So, I made an appointment with my doctor. After examining the spot on the left shin, he said, “This looks like a skin cancer and will probably have to be removed surgically." He referred me to a dermatologist. The dermatologist took biopsies of both spots and, sure enough, the lab report showed a squamous cell carcinoma on the left shin and a pre-cancer. (I can't remember the name). I just made appointments for the Mohs procedure on the left and a scrape and burn on the right.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Skin cancer - Signs and Symptoms

What signs and symptoms did you experience with your skin cancer?

Skin Cancer - Treatment

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