Main Article on Skin Cancer Question: Please describe your experience with skin cancer. Submit Your Comment Comment from: SimpleSimon, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 13 I had noticed a small pink circle on the front of my leg. The spot didn't hurt or itch and I thought it was a bug bite. It was dry so I would use lotion. I thought it was psoriasis. About 6 months in, when bathing it was tender. I had a biopsy. It was squamous carcinoma cancer and I had it removed. It was a little deep, but they said they got it all, and it will heal nicely. The only thing that worries me is my leg hurts and I get shooting pains every once in a while in that area. Comment from: Jenn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 28 I just got diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer on my face. My dermatologist biopsied it, and it itches and hurts now sometimes. I have Mohs surgery on April 7th. Hope that will cure it. Comment from: Peewee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 08 I had surgery 2 days ago for squamous and basal cell cancer. The basal cancer is on my nose. I just took off my bandage and the surgeon didn't get the correct spot. I am not happy about this. I now have a large area where he grafted my skin from forehead and eye. Problem is the basal cancer is on the right side of my nose near the nasal passage. The surgery was done on the left side near the bridge of my nose where I wear my glasses. I can't wait to ask why he didn't do the correct thing. Fuming right now. Comment from: Irene, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 15 I had a biopsy on my temple and was diagnosed with Bowen's disease, a kind of skin cancer. This was 12 weeks ago, but it hasn't yet healed and it is scaring me. I am still waiting for my checkup appointment. Comment from: Missykmac, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. My skin cancer started as a small spot on the side of my nostril. I just had surgery yesterday to remove it. I've had a skin graft taken from my cheek and cartilage taken from my ear to fix it. My face is looking horrific at the moment. I'm looking to see if anyone has had the same and how their face looks after it has healed. Comment from: Tikigal , 65-74 (Patient) Published: April 21 I used Efudex on a suspected skin cancer that came up next to an old melanoma operation. I had picked at it accidentally. I want to add Efudex over the top to burn out whatever was underneath there. I am not sure if it is OK to do that. The spot is only a 10th of an inch big. Comment from: Layla, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20 I had Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my forehead three months ago. My scalp is sore, hurts and feels crawly. I hope there isn't something wrong. Comment from: Margo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 10 I had Mohs surgery 4 weeks ago on my little toe for squamous cell skin cancer. It was deep and under 2 cm but it is still very tender and tingly and burning. Wonder when it will feel better. Comment from: DylanStar, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 10 I'm so scared I have basal cell skin cancer on my nose and noticed it years ago. I finally got referred to a dermatologist because my doctor basically told me to wait and thought it was a pimple. But they didn't want to treat me for it again years ago unless it progressed. So now it's 2019 and the basal cell carcinoma basically spread up my nose. I finally got a biopsy less than a week ago and now I'm waiting till they get the results and tell me treatment options. I'm just scared I'm going to end up disfigured and it will spread. Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 06 I had a basal cell carcinoma (number 6) removed yesterday from the hairline area of my forehead, I felt a popping sensation, at the top of my head, while the doctor was cauterizing the area. Now I have totally no feeling on the right side, top of my head. Not sure if this is normal. I live in Portugal, telephoned the hospital, and they advised going to emergency to speak to a doctor. Worried if it could be nerve damage. If so, I hope this will repair itself, wonder how long this could last. I am really scared. Comment from: Jules, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28 I had basal skin cancer removed off my chest area over the pectoral muscle 7 weeks ago. I am having pain every day, running up through my neck from my chest. Surgeon said to see my family doctor because he didn't cut any nerves and I shouldn't still be in pain. I don't know what to do now! This has affected my quality of life. SLIDESHOW Sun-Damaged Skin: Pictures of Sun Spots, Wrinkles, Sunburns See Slideshow Comment from: Beachgirl2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 In 2017 I noticed a small blackish mole on the upper right side of my abdomen. I didn't think anything of it. Though being a sun worshiper and a sister with melanoma history, I should have been more diligent. It would itch but also hurt while in the shower. It would bleed and then crust up. Finally, went to see a dermatologist and he did scraping of that one and one above my left eyebrow. It came back basal cell carcinoma (BCC). This January I noticed 2 in the center of my chest. I went and had scraping, both were BCC. I had them excised. It is hurting still and keloid has formed. Comment from: Liz, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 01 I have psoriatic arthritis and am on methotrexate. I had basal cell skin cancer on my right knee. Sutures are out but just the touch of a sheet hurts. I sent photo to my plastic surgeon who said it looks okay. I can't understand why it is so painful. Comment from: Tammy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30 Five years ago I had suspicious areas of skin on my arms removed and sent to pathology only to come back as pre-cancerous cells, so I was called back in to my doctor's to have them removed. Now 5 years later I'm suddenly having trouble, pain and weakness in both my forearms. I am worried, I don't know if it is recurrence of the skin cancer or if I am overreacting. Comment from: Bren, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 I had squamous cell carcinoma removed in hairline on forehead four months ago. I have had nerve damage ever since, a dull thud that can only be relieved if pressure is placed on it. I am also experiencing numbness and itchiness on top of my scalp. Will this ever go away! Comment from: Gladys, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 08 I have been seeing a dermatologist for over a year now. Finally after being sent to a wound clinic where they did a biopsy on a sore on my ankle they found squamous cell carcinoma and I had Mohs surgery with a skin graft. Later I had an appointment at the same dermatologist's office to be treated for about 100 to 125 or so spots that they thought were psoriasis or a rash due to medicine allergy and was treated with various steroid creams. When my daughter insisted that they do another biopsy because she felt it was not a rash, they found it was skin cancer. Comment from: Mar, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 12 I had 22 lymph nodes removed under my arm because of melanoma skin cancer. That was in April. My arm is still swollen but now my skin itches around my breast and neck. I wonder if that is due to the removal. Comment from: Afraidformom, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 11 Long story short, my mother was diagnosed with a carcinoma (extent of the information I have) just south of her knee pit and it grew slowly over six months, then very quickly into grapefruit size, scabbed over entirely, separated and actually fell off. She refuses to get treatment of any kind for it. Other than the sepsis and/or gangrene she will inevitably develop, I wonder what kind of skin cancer is most likely to act in this way. Comment from: Beachgirl65 , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 02 In January this year, I went for excision of 2 sites on my chest for recurrent basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer). It went well, and I had to go back 10 days later for stitch removal. I would've preferred dissolvable but they said they couldn't do that. Unfortunately, they couldn't get all the stitches out. I had to go back when it appeared that the stitches were working, they were way out. I had been experiencing pain and itching at the site. I went back and had them dug out. I am still experiencing pain and itching. Comment from: Julie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 10 I'm having surgery tomorrow for basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. I'm so scared, it's being done in Spain. They will give me something to calm my nerves. I tried to have done before but too nervous. I'm having something for light sleep to have surgery done. Today I am crying a lot. Comment from: Tinasie, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 04 I'm not exactly sure when I first showed my doctor first a very small sore on the outer edge of my ear. He told me that he thought it was from an earring from the nickel and to not put anything in it and the next time if it's not gone, he'd do a biopsy, and gave me antibiotic ointment. Throughout the years he did the same thing! Now it's much larger and so very painful and sometimes it'll swell and go numb, it's black, and that same doctor says skin cancer now! I see a dermatologist on the 18th for a biopsy. QUESTION Self-examination is important in the detection of skin cancer. See Answer Comment from: Steph, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 22 I am not the patient, but his mother. My son was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of skin cancer at the age of 24. A tumor developed around the knuckle of the index finger on his right hand. It was first noticed in January, 2018. It was diagnosed as aggressive digital papillary adenocarcinoma in March, after an MRI and biopsy. He suffered no injury or trauma to the area, and at first thought it was just a callus. This particular skin cancer forms in the sweat glands of your fingers or toes, and sometimes in the palm of your hand. It usually affects men between the ages of 50 to 70, and as far as anyone knows, he's the youngest to have ever gotten it. After a PET scan that came back negative, his team of surgeons amputated his index finger and middle finger and half of his palm on May 3rd. They said this was the only cure. They removed the tumor that measured in excess of 7 cm x 3 cm. But, there was a bad margin, and he still has cancer on the bone, nerve and mostly in the sheath of the tendons that went to his index finger. Another surgery is tentatively scheduled for May 24th. The surgeons don't agree on what to do next. Amputate his hand at mid-forearm, or go in through the wrist and clean out the tendon, followed by 7 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. They say he's got a 50-50 chance either way of the cancer coming back, and if it does it will most likely be in the lung. He's going with the second option, to try and save what's left of his hand, although the radiation therapy may likely damage it so severely that it will lose all function. I share his story because May is skin cancer awareness month, and you should be aware of this very rare and very aggressive skin cancer, as well as the more common ones. Comment from: xgi, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 20 I had a purple spot on the side of my neck that was about the size of an American nickel coin I first noticed in 1989, when I got back from a duty assignment to Korea. I didn't think anything of it at the time, until it began cracking open and bleeding on my uniform shirt collars. I finally got tired of buying peroxide to clean my shirts before I laundered them, and went in to sick call. The doctor at the base clinic diagnosed it as psoriasis complicated by a fungal infection and prescribed an anti-fungal cream and a steroid cream to be applied twice a day to the spot. And of course they didn't help. Fast forward to 1998. I was a civilian again, with a purple spot on the side of my neck that was between the size of a Kennedy half-dollar and an Eisenhower dollar coin. My primary care physician was after me to let him look at it, and I finally did. The punch biopsy came back positive for basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and the skin cancer was excised roughly two weeks later. They got it all, but left a 4-1/2 inch scar on the side of my neck. Two or three months later, I noted I had two new moles on my shoulder. I determined I would keep an eye on them, and when the bigger one cracked open and bled then cracked open again after it had healed I went back to my doctor to get them looked at. He did a punch biopsy on both, and both were BCC. Due to the size of the lesions compared to the size of the punch, the biopsy procedure removed the entirety of the skin cancer. I am sitting here now, early in 2018, with a surgical wound from an electrodessication and curettage, or 'scorch and scrape', on my arm and a row of stitches from the excision of another lesion on my arm. If you're keeping score this is BCC 4 and 5. When I got back from Korea I wasn't 30 yet. The doctor at the base hospital didn't think of skin cancer as a possible diagnosis, and I'm not faulting him for that. There is an adage in medicine that goes something like, 'when you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras.' For a healthy 30-year-old male, BCC was a zebra. At least, it was 30 years ago. Today, I keep an eye on those new moles. Comment from: Jensen, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 27 I'm not actually a skin cancer patient, but I'm writing this about my girlfriend, because her case is so strange that I thought it would be interesting to tell people about it. She has basal cell carcinoma on her eyebrow and eyelid that started years ago from an eyebrow wound that must have healed wrong. For years we thought that the shiny hairless lump was just scar tissue, but it caused her pain and bled a lot. Recently she went in for surgery, where a hard cyst-like substance was removed from her eyebrow. Then the skin tests came back positive for cancer. So she got another surgery and they got out as much as they could, but there is still a lot left that they were unable to remove. She has been to several specialists and meetings but no one is sure yet how to proceed because radiation therapy could cause problems with her eye. If one of us had seen pictures of basal cell carcinoma years ago, we would have recognized it and some of this might would have be prevented. Comment from: stager, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 31 I noticed a little skin colored nodule on my calf and didn't think anything of it. Within 3 months, it grew to a quarter of an inch and looked like a weird wart. I went to my dermatologist to have it removed. She immediately recognized it as a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). It was removed by excision. Lab confirmed it was free of any cancer cells. It was invasive, but had not grown deep. When I went for my 6 month check, there was a basal cell carcinoma on the shin of my other calf. She froze it, and it healed with no problem. Next 6 month check should be in March, but went in December 21st with a spot on my left forearm that didn't look right to me. Biopsy confirmed it is squamous cell carcinoma. Two days after biopsy on arm was done, I noticed another place that came up on the same arm just a few inches from the SCC. I feel certain it is SCC. I will have confirmed SCC removed in January. I will do biopsy of newest spot on the same forearm at the same time. I just hope that finding these cancers early and having them removed will be all that is necessary. Comment from: Riley, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 14 I'm not actually a skin cancer patient, but I'm writing this about my girlfriend, because her case is so strange that I thought it would be interesting to tell people about it. She has basal cell carcinoma on her eyebrow and eyelid that started years ago from an eyebrow wound that must have healed wrong. For years we thought that the shiny hairless lump was just scar tissue, but it caused her pain and bled a lot. Recently she went in for surgery, where a hard cyst-like substance was removed from her eyebrow. Then the skin tests came back positive for cancer. So she got another surgery and they got out as much as they could, but there is still a lot left that they were unable to remove. She has been to several specialists and meetings but no one is sure yet how to proceed because radiation therapy could cause problems with her eye. If one of us had seen pictures of basal cell carcinoma years ago, we would have recognized it and some of this might have been prevented. 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: Mimi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 09 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: Cookie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I had basal cell skin cancer removed from my arm 2 years ago. It itches and stays sore now. I am worried what could be causing this. Comment from: Ineedanswers, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 05 Wonder if anyone can describe what kind of pain comes with skin cancer; if it is a sharp piercing pain. I have something on my chin, it is really hard, and when I had tried to pop it thinking it was a pimple it felt like needles were being forced out of my skin. It's been there for a year now. Comment from: BOBBY, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 09 Over a year after having Mohs surgery for skin cancer on my left cheek there is still no feeling on the left side of my face. Comment from: Milkshiro , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 18 I got a biopsy and tested for basal cell skin cancer and they told me it's negative. I wonder if a dermatologist would lie to save money or not do a treatment. Because I don't want to find out a year from now, I have stage 4 skin cancer or something. It's a weird growth that came back after biopsy. Comment from: Charmaine , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 28 My doctor cut a skin tag off under my armpit, and 6 months later it is sore like a throbbing inside my armpit, and cold on the outside. I don't know what this could be. I'm terrified that it might be skin cancer. Comment from: Tracy, 45-54 (Patient) Published: October 03 I'm really worried about skin cancer. I didn't think much of it when I got a pain in my knee at the side and there was a lump there. Then 6 months ago I got a hard lump on my bone on my elbow and another one on the other elbow. Now I've got a big hard lump on my shoulder blade. I went to the doctor's and she said nothing to worry about, but she said we had to do a blood test. The lumps are really painful. Comment from: Deano , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 14 I have a big spot inside my inner leg, and when picked blood comes pouring out, but the spot is still there and it's not going away. I am worried if it is skin cancer. Comment from: prayersalltime, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 03 I have some black spots on my legs. I don't feel any pain or itch from it. These spots have appeared on my legs for three months. I don't know it's related to any skin cancer types. Comment from: Heather , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I had a cyst on my left side of back removed years ago. I have a mole that has developed since high school. There are different tones to it. Color on the skin is lighter than the part that sticks out. I feel achy or it just bothers me on my side and back. I don't know if it's cancerous but I'm ready to go in finally and have it checked out. Comment from: Vietnam Vet, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 07 I am a Veteran and use the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. The VA hospital near my place does not have the funding to put a dermatologist on staff. I am 63 years old and have a family history of skin cancer and have personally had a basal cell carcinoma removed 3 years ago. I wonder if a person shouldn't be checked every year or so, as part of a routine checkup. I have so many new freckles and moles popping up I can't keep track of them all. The VA has to farm out all appointments to see a dermatologist. A person has to go see their primary care doctor before they will set an appointment with an outside doctor, if the doctor deems it necessary. It would be nice if the Government could figure out a way to get funding to hire at least 1 dermatologist at the VA hospitals. Comment from: Tina, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 04 In January of 2016 I start to notice a sore in my shoulder and I thought it was just a minor sore. Weeks passed and the sore did not heal, so I went to my doctor to see what the problem was. He took a biopsy and found that I had stage 2 non-melanoma skin cancer, a very deadly cancer he said. On September, 2016 I had surgery and still haven't been totally cured. I have difficulty in everything I do. I had the chemotherapy and the radiation to stop the non-melanoma skin cancer from spreading. Throughout my recovery I had a great support group. I had my days of depression and wanting to give up but got through it. 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! Comment from: tedd, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 07 My experience with malignant melanoma is 12 years long. I have a description of my experience which I would be glad to post, if it could be of help to other searching patients. I had 14 tumors last year and am doing very well right now with a "stable disease" as my oncologist worded it last week after MRI & complete CT series. I am on my 10th round of chemo right now and doing very well! 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. Comment from: vincent, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 29 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. Comment from: 1artist, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 05 I had squamous cell carcinoma on my left ear. Interestingly, it is the side of my face exposed to the sun while driving. I live in Southern California spent extended time in the sun while sailing, biking, hiking during my life. I am 63 years old. It started out, in October, as a small, rough patch of skin on my upper ear. I would scratch off the "scale" and went weeks without noticing anything. Every time it would reappear, only a little worse. In January I noticed a bump which should have inspired me to see my dermatologist considering the fact that I had previously had several basal cel carcinomas removed over the previous 10 years. My first was when I was around 52. It was on my right forearm. Soon the tumor began growing rapidly and I knew I was in trouble. After contacting my dermatologist I scheduled surgery to have it removed. I had waited too long. About one third of the middle of my ear had to be removed including the cartilage. This resulted in having a plastic surgeon reconstruct the ear. The ear is smaller than the other and slightly deformed. Thankfully it did not spread to other parts of my body. I am convinced that early detection and seeking early intervention is the key to staying healthy. Comment from: jb93, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 12 I wish we could get young people to realize how dangerous all the sunbathing is, whether indoor or outdoor. I wish I had known the statistic for fair-skinned people when I was younger and lying in a tanning bed. I try to talk to people about the dangers, but much like I was, they are more interested in their appearance for now than what is a possibility for their future. Comment from: agordanier, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 19 I just had MOHs surgery on my nose for basal cell carcinoma with Squamous Cell Carcinoma running over my nose and down over my cheek. It has been a very grueling experience. I have been told that my cancer has been removed, and I have a greater than 98 percent success rate. I am fortunate that my doctor is very good at what he does, and I am told that although my recovery will take 6 months to a year, the scarring will be minimal and the results will be very good. I am 45 years old and have very fair skin. I have always been careful about the sun because I burn very easily. I also live in Southern California. I pray this is the last time I will have to deal with skin cancer. Comment from: Valter, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: January 09 My dad had Merkel cancer in 2007. He was 82 and a sun lover. It all started with a "cherry" on his check, which was removed with surgery. Unfortunately, the thing came back. I was given little hope. He did well on imiquimod; the results were impressive. He recovered and did well for more than one year. Comment from: fmod2175, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Tumor in my right nostril. It is a very rare, aggressive form of skin cancer, and not much is known about it. I had surgery in August of 2008 where my nostril was removed, and skin was taken from inside my cheek to form a flap. After four weeks, the doctor, who is also a plastic surgeon, will form my nostril back on my right side. I was told I caught it early and took a PET scan that revealed the only “hot spot” was on my nose. Hopefully, I will be OK. It's a very scary word, cancer, and emotions run high. I used to be a sun worshiper when I was younger, and I am now 64. I could understand if the cancer was topical, but it was inside my nose. Strange! All I can say is: Be diligent about your body. Your body will tell you something is wrong. The doctor and I thought it was a wart, but it wasn't. Published: July 23 I had squamous cell skin cancer near the corner of my eye. Mohs surgery was performed and I had freaked out about it before I went in. It really was not a big deal - I wish someone would have told me that while it is surgery, it is not something to really obsess over. Reading the Internet can just really scare you - if you can talk to someone that had it done it would really put you at ease. It took mine two tries, the second time was a little dicier than the first (since they were going a little deeper), but not as bad as I had imagined. Comment from: Tanny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 15 I have had a brown mole on my pinky finger for as long as I can remember. Well, I fell and now the brown is off of it. I wonder if I should be concerned about skin cancer. Comment from: Thomas, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24 A sore on my arm got big and went away almost, but is growing back again. I am worried if it is skin cancer. Comment from: Peeps1015 , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 10 I recently found a very small black dot on my stomach. It looks like a black spot made by a tattoo gun. I can't get it off. It is rooted in my flesh, like a mole, except it is not a mole. It is a tiny black, almost perfectly circular dot that just will not go away, that's under the skin. It is not raised up like a mole, or anything. It is not something that may have gotten stuck inside my stomach skin, because like I said, I cannot dig it out, no matter how hard I try. I am worried about skin cancer. Comment from: Grandmaindiana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 23 On my shoulder there was what I thought a mole. It got real crusty and fell off 6 months ago. I am now feeling sharp pains and burning in that area. I wonder if I should get checked out if it is skin cancer. Comment from: Sharon , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 16 In the palm of hand callus forms, and when I scrape it off then it bleeds leaving a tiny hole. A couple of days later it heals all by itself but the calluses keep coming back. I have no idea why it will not go away once it stops bleeding, and I am worried about skin cancer. Comment from: Godfrey, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 16 I have had a painless black spot on my chest for years. Approximately one week ago it began to hurt. I am worried if it could be cancerous. Comment from: Chen, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 04 My mom had skin cancer and has gotten it treated recently, but she found out a year ago, I hope she will be alright. Comment from: Lotsoflove, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 26 I am having problems with my skin. I do take really hot showers. I don't go out too much and I am always covered up, but I have scaly skin on my chest. I get it a lot on my face too, where sometimes I'm just putting half a bottle of lotion on just to make it soft again. In some cases I use Vaseline and it goes away but it comes back from time to time. I asked my doctor, she said just to put cream on and that's it. I am worried about skin cancer. Comment from: Suzy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 22 Under my right breast there is a red spot. I have been using an antibiotic cream when I see it. It goes away but comes back. I know I have to lose weight but I am concerned if it might be skin cancer. Comment from: Shalee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 18 I have a spot on back of my leg the size of a quarter, where the skin has turned real white. When I press on it, it is thin layer of skin and feels like some of the tissue is gone underneath! It does not hurt at all and I found it while rubbing lotion on my legs! I can't get in to see the dermatologist until August and I am worried about skin cancer! I can't find it anywhere on the internet! Comment from: Man, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30 I am a male, aged 53. I sat in the garden in the sun, and came out in large red spots on chest, top, back and head. I hope it is not skin cancer. Comment from: burnt , 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 30 I have skin cancer and my whole body is peeling off a thick layer of skin. Comment from: Krebskind, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18 I've had 31 years of skin cancer and no end in sight despite more than 31 years of sun blocks, clothing protection, hats, and indoor isolation. Dermatologists and reconstructive surgeons could build their vacation homes from my bills. Comment from: rjaz, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 13 My dermatologist told me that my first melanoma probably arose from sun exposure during childhood when we ran around on the beach without sunscreen (1940s). By nightfall, we had blisters on our whitened skin shoulders and we were ignorant of the dangers of sun. My first melanoma was classified as a Clark level IV and cut out from my shoulder. My second melanoma was a Clark level I. Comment from: grateful, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 22 I had a small brown spot on the middle of my forehead. I thought nothing of it. My daughter kept bugging me to get it checked out. I finally did, and it turned out to be melanoma. I had to have two surgeries on my head. Man, was it painful. Since then, my doctor has found one basal cell carcinoma on my wrist. He checked my body and wants to cut out four more suspicious spots. I am going for this surgery next week. I am 61 and had too much sun exposure in my younger days. I now use lots of sunscreen and cover up in the sun. I will probably have to have more surgeries as time goes on. Please stay out of the sun. If we were supposed to be a different color, we would have been born that way. Comment from: LouLou, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 24 I had a scabby spot on my hand which has grown marginally. It was tender. Today I saw my doctor and he tells me it is a non-malignant cancer and must be excised next week. Comment from: athlete, 55-64 Male Published: January 14 I have an open red spot on the right side of my forehead about an inch above the eye and to the side. I have had this for at least a year and it doesn't seem to heal. Will bleed sometimes and maybe looks flakey sometimes. If pushed on it, it is somewhat sore. It stays red nearly all of the time. It is about the size of a pencil eraser. Comment from: 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: July 08 My best friend died four days ago of melanoma skin cancer. It started as a mole on his back that was checked and found to be stage 4. It along with 3 lymph nodes were removed but his follow up care was sporadic at best. Two years later what he thought was a cold then lung infection was the beginning of his final battle that lasted less than two months. He went very quickly at the end BUT his story should be a book on why follow up care is so very important. Published: August 01 I've had numerous basal cells. I've had Mohs surgery on my face and had to have plastic surgery 6 times after to correct the damage from surgery. I've had squamous cell on the back of my hand and had Mohs surgery they had to take the back of my hand off, but I've learned it's never going to stop. I'll have to keep on top of it. I've had probably 300 spots frozen off. Now I'm using Efudex-40. With me it is a daily thing. Published: June 09 It started as a sore with a scab on it. It itched and I scratched, then little blisters appeared. Published: May 29 I had an oval, light brown smooth mole on my inner arm, just above my elbow. Over the last few days, it changed a lot, developing peeling and crusting, and looking a pale red colour. I saw my family doctor today, and he said it was likely a squamous or a basal call cancer, and he used liquid nitrogen on it. Comment from: rftech, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 16 I had a lesion that appeared as a small scab. That would not heal. This actually went on for some time. Would seem to heal then start to bleed again. I went to get it checked out. I had a biopsy taken and it was BCC. The treatment was to have it cut out. It was just in the initial stage. Just on the surface. The rare part is that is was on my navel located right at the edge. How it got there is still a mystery. I really don't sunbathe. And only did the shirtless thing was when I was like 10 years old. This occurred when I was 47. I'm a Black male. Published: July 16 I have basal carcinoma. A biopsy showed this. The cancer is just under my left eye close to my nose. Comment from: nadinegmac, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 05 My husband was in Vietnam 2 times for extended periods of time when agent orange was being sprayed. He had a very aggressive form of squamous cell cancer, and his son has CLL (LEUKEMIA). He died from the cancer which spread to trachea, larynx neck, and chest. Comment from: Susie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13 My doctor treated my squamous cell insitu skin cancers on my legs and arms by scrapping and burning them. This method is not mentioned in your article. Is it an appropriate treatment option? Comment from: ycitybob, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 10 I was that proverbial red headed little kid that always got sunburn. I have paid the price for that exposure through various types of skin cancer. I have had it cut out 4 times, burned twice, frozen spots hundreds of times. So far it has always been successfully removed. I still play golf most days in the summer but make sure I am wearing and SPF of 40 or above. I wish I would have done that as a teenager. Now at 61 I have a lot of spots on my hands, face, neck and ears. Prevention is a lot easier to deal with. Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 11 They removed a wart from my chin. There is no mark or lump left. Now they want to cut. I will not allow this. They say I have squamous cancer. I am 82 and have gone through colon cancer, and I feel that I don't want to go through any of this again. Comment from: mars1973, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 13 My dad has skin cancer, it has progressed to the stage where the tumors have opened up and are draining. He also has Alzheimer's and we are caring for him at home. Hospice is involved. I have had a hard time getting him any treatment. He had a small skin lesion on his ear that was removed a couple of years ago. Then a tumor appeared near that sight. I was unable to get it removed by any doctor. I think because hospice is involved. I did get a doctor to do some radiation therapy which slowed down the growth for awhile. But they seem to grow until they burst and become an open wound. They are traveling down the side of his head, from above the ear to the neck. We clean the wound twice a day and re-dress, but it just seems like I could do more. ? Comment from: countryboy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 13 When I first heard I had skin cancer, I thought that it was all over for me. Not sure what I would do. Since I have looked it all over here I am now hopeful. Comment from: Butch1941, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 23 I just had a skin cancer removed. It was squamous cell carcinoma. I have had two of these removed already over a period of years. Sun exposure is supposed to be a cause of it, but where my cancer was, no sun could hit this part of my body. It was just above the pubic hairs, and I never laid out nude.