Cancer. Saying that word sounds really scary coming out of my mouth but it’s my reality. I Have Cancer. However, don’t start planning my funeral anytime soon first let me explain what type of cancer that I have. I’m not terminal and I don’t plan on kicking the bucket anytime soon. My cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer out there. But many people want to know what does skin cancer look like.
I have Basal Cell Carcinoma which is a form of skin cancer. BCC affects nearly 3 out of every 10 caucasions that are in the Now don’t get me wrong it’s a scary thing for your doctor, or in my case the nurse, to call you and tell you that you have skin cancer. In fact when I first heard those words I cried for a good 30 minutes thinking about all those times I just had to go to the tanning bed so that I would be nice and dark for the prom. Or the times my sister and I would lay out on the deck in the middle of summer lathered in baby oil. Looking back I could smack that 14 year old girl upside her head but you can’t take back the mistakes you have made in the past you can only move forward.
What Does Skin Cancer Look Like
Like most skin cancers Basal Cell Carcinoma is mostly preventable by wearing sunscreen. It’s that easy folks, lather up from head to toe with the white stuff. I know it’s a pain but that extra five minutes could save your life down the road. This type of cancer most often appears on areas of the skin that see the most sun such as the face, scalp, neck, hands, and arms. However these are not the only places you can get BCC, they are just the most common.
Learning I had Basal Cell Carcinoma
My journey with skin cancer started last year when I first noticed a little tiny scab under my eye that just sort of popped up out of nowhere. At first I thought I had scratched my eye and didn’t think much more about it. Eventually the scab went away and I didn’t think anymore about it until it appeared again a couple of months later. At first glance you wouldn’t have thought it was anything but something inside me keep nagging me to go get it looked at, and I am so glad I did.
So today I am meeting with a plastic surgeon who will evaluate the cancer and decide how to remove it. My dermatologist thought that since the lesion is located directly under my eye it would be best to see someone who can hopefully cause minimal scarring or disfigurement. You see BCC isn’t normally deadly but it can be very disfiguring if left untreated, just google Basal Cell Carcinoma and you will see what I am talking about.
I seriously never thought that I would be someone who would get skin cancer. I almost never burn and just don’t have the “risk factors”. However I can tell you now that every time I am out in the sun I look like a ghost from the amount of sunscreen I apply to my face and body. I don’t care what I look like or how white I am, this experience has been enough to make me a believer.
Bottom Line: Wear Sunscreen, every time you are out in the sun! Put sunscreen on your kids every time you are out in the sun. Even if the sun isn’t out you can still get a sunburn so put it on.
Signs of Skin Cancer
BCC often grows slowly. Here are a few things that you should look for:
- Reddish patch of dry skin that won’t heal
- Flesh-colored (or pink, red, or brown) pearl-shaped lump
- Pimple that just won’t clear
- Sore that bleeds, heals, and then returns
- Scar that feels waxy — may be skin-colored, white, or yellow
- Group of slow-growing, shiny pink or red growths — look like sores, often scaly and bleed easily
- Flat or sunken growth — feels hard, may be white or yellow
If you notice any of these things on your skin or something that is just off, see your doctor or dermatologist. They can preform a simple and quick biopsy in the office. I’ll keep you updated on how things are going and I’m praying that even though the BCC is close to my eye that it will be a minor procedure to remove it.
Have you or someone you known had Basal Cell Carcinoma? I’d love to hear your story!