Submitted by thermalben on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 10:14
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).
Thanks Keano, good to hear.
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!?
I am the bone
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.
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.
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.
Good idea about the regular checkups. From my experience once I had one bcc there were more to follow over the years.