Skin Cancers

thermalben's picture
thermalben started the topic in Monday, 19 Nov 2018 at 10:14am

Couple of weeks back I went for my annual checkup - which I'd missed the last one - and got a little area on my temple checked out that'd been bugging me for a while.

I can't recall the specifics, but am sure a doctor 'froze' off a spot here some time ago, but it simply hasn't healed since - so there's been a perennial scab ever since. And it's been a little stingy too, especially when the scab comes off after a surf.

After some tests on the biopsy (which took a few days), it turns out it was Squamous Cell Carcinoma (also known as Bowen's Disease) - one of the more common skin cancers, which is fortunately confined to the outer layer of skin. So as long as I get it cut out soon I'll be fine. But if left for too long there is a chance it'll spread.

Melanoma is a real risk for surfers. And, things can escalate pretty quickly too, if you're not monitoring things - more than two thousand people die from skin cancer each year in Australia.

As it turns out, this week is National Skin Cancer Action Week 2018. So please go and book in for a check up - there's plenty of skin cancer clinics around the country and many of them bulk bill (so, it doesn't cost you anything).

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 6 Nov 2020 at 7:40pm

Thanks Keano, good to hear.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Saturday, 7 Nov 2020 at 8:00pm

Alas, it seems that there be a patch forming right on the top the old noggin on this strappin young lad (2 out of 3 of those adjectives are false, guess which). Being copping of bit UV as of late in the defenceless zone and was wondering if there is any alternative to sunscreen/imagine? I imagine both are unkind to the natural surrounds and perhaps could accelerate the wiseness process even faster!?

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger Saturday, 7 Nov 2020 at 8:30pm

Hi Nick, I reckon the hooded rashie might be the go. Easy to flick off on the paddle out / before a floggin, Never gets lost. Easy to flick back on for extended periods of waiting out at sea in the hot sun. I use one in summer and a proper wetsuit hood in winter. Only really sunblock the face now days and havent got scorched. Look like a kook but i dont have to look at me, thats someone elses problem.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog Saturday, 7 Nov 2020 at 10:43pm

My skin got that bad I had to move away from the east coast to a sw facing coast. Those relentless east coast mornings with both the sun AND reflected sun off the water basically cooked my face. And my back got toasted too hanging on the beach. Melanoma, 3 squamous cell cancers, and more basal cell cancers than I can count. I'm basically a ball of scar tissue bahahahaha.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 22 Nov 2020 at 6:46am

Good news - they cut out the skin cancer and it hasn't spread. Was a decent chunk of skin too (off my ear), 'bout the size of a five cent coin. Amazingly, just a week and a half after having it out - including fourteen stitches - you'd never know it happened, it's healed up really well. Full props to the doc, he did a great job.

I reckon I'm gonna book in every six months for a check-up from now on. Really can't be too safe these days.

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid Sunday, 22 Nov 2020 at 7:30am

Good idea about the regular checkups. From my experience once I had one bcc there were more to follow over the years.

JQ's picture
JQ's picture
JQ Monday, 14 Dec 2020 at 5:57pm

Yep, everyone should get a checkup, even if you're under 30. It's not expensive and it can give you a little peace of mind. I had a few spots I was suss on, fortunately nothing to worry about, but really good to know. Keep an eye on your moles and watch for changes people.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 14 Sep 2021 at 5:17pm

Just a reminder about skin checks etc. I'm only 36 but had a BCC surgically removed from my shoulder a couple of months ago, and now this one on the side of my nose today, needed plastic surgery to keep me looking neat and proper.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus Tuesday, 14 Sep 2021 at 5:51pm

Hope it goes well Craig, I am currently in the brace position waiting on a biopsy result warned it looks like a melanoma.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 14 Sep 2021 at 6:00pm

Oh shit, fingers crossed it's not I focus. And if it is, caught early eh?

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 10:36am

Wow Craig,
I'm now going to get a check-up, were you always a sun screen user?

Best wishes I focus...

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 10:44am

Yep, always! Had another taken out of my shoulder a few months ago, bad scar. I always wear a wetsuit as well, so must have been from when I was younger or just those rare times I bathe in the sun. Scary.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 11:06am

Timely reminder fellas. All the best.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 1:18pm

No good Craig! Glad to hear it got picked up.

Did you notice something suss with the one on your nose? Or was it picked up when you had a check up?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 1:22pm

Yeah noticed little white patch on the nose. And the one on shoulder was a light red smudge but when in sunlight got angry.

Bnkref's picture
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Bnkref Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 2:31pm

Hope all good now and that you're back in the water soon.

Lucky you picked them up when you did. Sounds like time is critical.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 2:32pm
Craig wrote:

Oh shit, fingers crossed it's not I focus. And if it is, caught early eh?

Thanks everyone.

Crossing the fingers seems to work Craig.

Biopsy back today not a melanoma but a type of squamous cell carcinoma not immediately life threating, my skin doctor was surprised and relived I was resigned for the worst also surprised.

Now plenty of time to safely remove.

Hoping your surgery goes well Craig and ends up maintaining that "good looking rooster " face of yours.

Everyone else get the skin checked.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 2:36pm

Great news I Focus! You must be relieved!

And thanks, still a bit sore so will take a while to recover but hopefully heals up nicely.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 2:59pm

Good news IF, I had the same last year (SCC). At first my dermatologist cut it out of the tip of my nose resulting in three stitches, then after a few days the stitches fell out. That was followed up with dry ice spray every two weeks and some special cream applied every second day.

With the exception of a small scar you wouldn't even know I had it. Also, had something similar this year on my scalp which was treated the same minus the stitches. Can't remember what it was called but luckily turned out benign.

Edit- all up the process for my SCC took a month and my scalp about two weeks.