Basal Cell Carcinoma
I am 29 years old and a few months ago I went to see a dermatologist about a raised, dark mole on my left shoulder. She said she didn’t think it was anything but that I should have it removed just in case.
She “shaved” it off and kept the sample. I kept a bandage on it for 2 weeks. She called me a week or so later with results and said that it is Basal Cell Carcinoma but she thinks that removing it fixed the problem. She asked me to come back in a month’s time. I saw her last week and she said that it looks like it has healed well. She said she couldn’t assure me that it had all been removed, but she doesn’t want to see me again until March. She kept assuring me that this is a very common cancer and that 2 in 3 Australians (where I live) experience some form of it in their lifetime.
I don’t know anything about it and I am scared. Can someone shed some light for me? Is there anything I should be looking out for?
Hi SamanthaJane, Welcome to our Forum but sorry you need to be here. Your doctor is right, basal cell is very common but not nearly as dangerous as melanoma. If your mole comes back you will know that the doctor did not get it all with the "shave". They will then remove the rest of it.. That's was they will be looking for and so should you. Not to worry about waiting for March... basal cell usually grows very slowly. I have just recently had 2 basal cell growths removed and am sheduled in January to go back in to remove the balance of one that they didn't get completely. Minor surgery, and minor incovenience. Good luck with yours.
Caregiver to my Dad, who was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 1V NSCLC with single met to brain,
He sadly lost his battle in August 2010 and we miss his smiling Irish blue eyes terribly.
My Dad's story:
Samantha Jane, I would say that a 29 year old getting Basal Cell skin cancer is somewhat unusual by North American standards, though I do recognize that the sun is much more intense "down under" than in the northern hemisphere ..... Since you have been diagnosed with BCC, pls see the derms regularly for a full body skin exam (and make sure they check your scalp, soles of your feet, palms, finger and toe nails, eyes) in order to safeguard against the much more deadly melanoma, and Australia has one of the highest per capita incident rates inthe world for melanoma (which is the biggest cancer killer of women age 20 - 29 in the US and Canada).....
I know Australia has an excellent public education program for melanoma, but just wanted to repeat the advice ......BTW, both of my parents have had at least two instances of basal cell skin cancer and they are fine ..... We aren't conditioned to think of any cancer as a "good cancer" but basal cell carcinoma has been described as the "good" form of skin cancer because it grows so slowly and normally has very low metastatic potential -- particularly when compared to the more stubborn squalmous cell skin cancer and the very lethal melanoma skin cancer .....
Stay vigilant but don't be paranoid....
Happy Holidays and Aloha from Hawaii,
Stage IIA Melanoma