basal cell carcinoma... got it (?)... who knows what then?

Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 04:46 pm
Some of you know me, now I’m onto another stepping stone and just pondering stuff! If anyone can help, that woud be good.

I'm trying to get information " not www info, people info. Have copied from another thread so there’s a little background (ack) but I needed to write it down as that thread won’t be seen.

It's been a sickly coupla weeks.

had mri - good news is, no surgery before Christmas - inflamed tendon which is why I struggle to walk properly and big toot has crossed over top of 2nd toot -

not so good, being a pain whus, is ultrasound guided steroid injection into the tendon this Tuesday. Not looking forward to that. Tulip is taking me to the hospital, won't be driving. Not so bad, just, not so good.

Last Friday - bad sinusitis, doctors, poorly, antibiotics

Tuesday - reacted to antibiotics, new antibiotics - whilst I was there, I asked the doc to take a look at some lesions that I have.... not nasty things... just.... lesion type things - more had been appearing. She got an urgent referral... so...... 3 days later....


It got more sickly today.

Little c.... not big C - basal cell carcinoma... sounds scarier than it is... skin cancer.... one could hardly call me a sun worshipper... mmmmmmmmm.... what's that all about then. Sheeesh... I don't even really like the heat leave alone ever lay on a beach, leave alone am never usually warm enough to wear anything but long sleeved shirts and bloody fleeces for goodness sake. Hey ho!

anyhoo... I have a few lesions - chest and back - they are appearing rather more rapidly than in the past.... come and go... and the moment, more appearing. Could be the Lupus (SLE) - now crossing the boundaries with DLE... Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a disease of the skin causing atrophy, scarring and photosensitivity. It has sometimes been called chronic lupus erythematosis. It has features in common with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but the latter is, as its name implies, a systemic disease that affects many internal organs. SLE has sometimes been called disseminated lupus erythematosus but this terms is less apt and as it may also be abbreviated to DLE, it is best avoided.

Lupus is the Latin word for wolf, and it implies that the lesion resembles a wolf's bite. The term was originally used for lupus vulgaris that is cutaneous tuberculosis.


The prevalence is between 17 and 48 per 100,000 people. Women are affected about twice as often as men, compared with 10 times the frequency for SLE. The usual age of onset is between 20 and 40 years, which is about 20 years younger than SLE.

* The lesions are usually asymptomatic but they may present with mild pruritus or sometimes pain within the lesions.
* There may be accompanying SLE but this occurs in less than 5%.
* Arthralgia or arthritis can occur.


The lesions have a characteristic appearance.

* Lesions tend to occur on skin that is most exposed to light but relatively unexposed skin may also be involved. The scalp is often affected and this may cause permanent alopecia.
* The primary lesion is an erythematous papule or plaque with slight or moderate scaling.
* With time, the scale may thicken and become adherent.
* Changes in pigmentation develop. The active border area shows hyperpigmentation whilst the inactive centre is hypopigmented.
* Lesions spread centrifugally and may merge.
* As lesions age, the follicular openings dilate and a keratin plug forms. This is called follicular plugging or patulous follicles.
* As active lesions resolve, atrophy and scarring results.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... the consultant believes the largest of the lesions is a carcinoma ........ he's mildly convinced of the second one, he is not sure about the others, I have something on the bridge of my nose too......... he says, if the biopsies come back malignant.... then he would need to think about how to proceed with the other ones. Of course, I asked a lot of questions.... but I won't know what's what until they take a couple chunks out of my chest and stitch me up. It doesn't take long....45mins or so... not much to worry about....

just p*sses me off actually.....

However...... was reading today.......

Skin Cancer: How to reduce the risk of getting a second one

What are the aims of this leaflet?

This leaflet has been written to help you understand and deal with the risk of developing a skin cancer. It is aimed at people at increased risk, such as those who have already had one or who have heavy sun damage to their skin, or those on immunosuppressive drugs particularly after a transplant. It describes the main types of pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths, and explains the importance of detecting and treating them early. It tells you how to reduce the risk of getting another skin cancer, and how these can be treated.

I wonder if anyone here knows, Bethie maybe if you read this, the relationship of immunosupressants with skin cancer...you know, just makes me wonder if I have been taking meds that caused this... have been on immunosupressants for 10 years - hence, sickly cow.

mmmmmmmmmmmm....... wanna post it on the main board, there must be plenty folk here who have had lesions removed etc

So..... long and short.... 3rd December.... have one definitely, probably two cut out and biopsied...

then I'll know what's what.

We'll go with the positive that they will be benign, which means, it is another form of lupus.... but hey, had that many years so......

I kinda think I know that one is bad.... he was pretty sure... but who knows a? Will have to wait and see. It could all be just be lupus, tho, that doesn’t make me feel better right now.

So.... question: who knows whatever about skin cancer? Advice? Just personal knowledge really please. Know this common cancer... still, its bothering me right now.
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 05:12 pm
Izzie- The good news is that basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes. You cut it out, and that's it. Sometimes the doctor will shave off the lesion along the skin line. If it is cancer, the doctor might want to cut out a little more to make sure that he catches all the bad cells.

I have had solar keratoses (pre-cancerous) basal & squamous cell carcinomas. In fact, when I lived up north, and went to Florida on vacations, one of the first things that I would do when I got back home was make an appointment with my dermatologist.

Please don't worry. Skin cancer (even melanoma when it is caught early) is eminently curable.

Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 05:30 pm
Thanku Phoenix...

Mine don't look like those big bumpy ones... mine are kinda flat and looks like a "growing" scar...as in it's getting bigger rather than growing out. They bleed a lot (ugh, sorry) and are popping up all over - they look like sores. The one he thinks is a carcinoma looks very much like a scar, with red bits...kinda seethrough. The others he isn't sure, but will judge them dependant on the biopsies.

I know I shouldn't worry. In fact, having DLE is probably more of a problem than BCC.

Thing is... I don't even see the sun... that's what is weird.

He's going to cut the scar looking one out straight away, possibly the other one which has come up very quickly - and said about using the chemo cream.

With my immune system as it is, it's another thing I just don't really want to deal with.

Thanku for your thoughts. Appreciate it. x
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 05:41 pm
Izzie, the way I understand it, most immunosuppressants don't cause cancer but they seriously increase the risk of skin cancer and a couple of other cancers - because the meds don't allow the body to fight things it normally would. Some of the immunosuppressants are thought to be direct causes of cancer. They are the dark sides of the medications you need to keep your primary dx manageable.

When I've worked with clients who needed to be on immunosuppressants, part of the info we were given to share was advice that sun was to be avoided pretty much at all costs - giant hats (nets in some cases), long sleeved shirts and long pants at all times (gloves for some very sensitive people). Simply having an arm exposed to the sun while driving a car would be too dangerous for some people.

One study I just looked at showed that there was a 10% incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers after 15 years on some types of immunosuppressant.

The non-melanoma skin cancers are well-treatable. I'd be surprised if most posters here don't know at least a half-dozen people who've had non-melanoma skin cancer.


Truthfully, as a patient, I'd much rather get a diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer than of a step-up of your primary diagnosis.

Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 05:52 pm
Thanks Beth. I will talk to my rheumatologist about the methotrexate. I'm on a biggish dose for RA 15mg/wk... for many years.

ehBeth wrote:

Truthfully, as a patient, I'd much rather get a diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer than of a step-up of your primary diagnosis.

Yep... totally agree there. The latest lesions have come up in a matter of days - not big or anything - but numerous ... just... not pleasant. I know they are there, the bigger one is sore. If these others are DLE - that's going to be a bigger problem long term. Ack.

Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 08:28 pm
Hi Izzie. I have been diagnosed twice with melanomas. They showed up as small fiery red patches on my shoulder and chest. Both were cut out under local anaesthetic and that was that. Dr. assured me after the melanomas were anylised I would have no after effects.
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 08:33 pm
No words Izzie - But it sounds like all will be okay - thoughts and prayers...as always...
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 08:46 pm
The curse of us fair skinned ones.
I have had skin cancerous lesions removed before, and I am certain it will
happen again. It's the price one pays for living in southern California.

I keep my fingers crossed for you! Good luck, Izzy!
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 09:25 pm
Thanku everyone... will keep posting on this as it happens... seems to be only way I can get perspective from my friends here.

Hope to carcinoma...... not Discoid. Yep.

Thanking you all. Nite - dream sweetly
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 09:26 pm
please go bed hun...

is SO late.

Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 09:30 pm
I'm settled now .... thanku... will sleep some now... thanks darlin'xx
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Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 10:13 pm
We pay the price too for living in sunny Australia, alas we have the added danger of a depleted ozone layer, and are advised to be covered up from the sun in summer at all times.
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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 07:41 am
Oy, Izzie. Sorry to hear about this, kiddo. Seems like it's always something.

My father had skin cancer. If I remember correctly, the lesions were cut out. They never returned.

I'll be with you through this, Izzie. Get some rest if you can.
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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 08:32 am
Oh ((((( Izz )))).

I'm without words.

Just standing beside you.

Love you dearly.... xoxox

(Prayers and thoughts, abound)
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 10:33 am
Prayers and thoughts and chicken soup.
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 07:21 pm
Oh... bless y'all... thanku.

My father had skin cancer on his face. He had a small biopsy and then the chemo cream - the inflammation was horrendous and nasty uncomfortable. Oy. Mine are chest and back! Still think - I just don't do sun, never sunbeds, but am incredibly fair and blonde (HA - no comments there thankya) Wink Hey ho!

Still haven't spoken to them yet... or anyone actually, except here.

Sickly is such a nuisance. Nuisance. Nuisance. Nuisance.

One of the nasty ones looks less angry today, more scarlike, 2 more coming up tho - wierd... and a few on my back. Sounds to me more like DLE - except for the big one.

Really more worried about the steroid injection on Tuesday into the tendon. YOWZER.... oh, so much not looking forward to that. Such a baby. Pathetic.

Thanks for your support. I need you guys with me... am very sincerely grateful - really. xx
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 07:22 pm
grateful and sleepy???

Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 09:25 pm
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 09:26 pm
hugs, luv...
0 Replies
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 09:26 pm
Isn't it tomorrow already where you are?

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