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New to BCC. Have questions

Hi all. I am 28 years old and was just recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. I don't really know how I should feel about this. I have been through a lot of traumatic events in my life, and this just adds to it. My doctor said it's a little weird because I am so young. I know "it could be worse" and BCC "is not that big of a deal", but I am still feeling uneasy about it.

If you guys can answer a few questions, that would be great:
- what should I expect next?
- should I tell my employer?
- should I tell my friends and family?
- is this really not that big of a deal, or is my anxiety valid?
- I use to go to therapy for my depression, anxiety, PTSD... should I go back?

Anything will help. Thanks!

  1. ... I am so sorry about your BCC diagnosis. Firstly, know this--you are not alone, and we are here for you. I am glad you are thinking to ask these questions. Many people have the same ones but don't necessarily think to seek the answers from others. You never need to feel alone in this journey.

    It definitely could be worse. Basal cell is not one of the more severe forms of skin cancer. Since you have had a diagnosis, I am sure you had a biopsy. You can expect to have either Mohs surgery or an excision depending on where the spot is and how big it is. Here is an article on Mohs.

    This is an article from Judy, one of our advocates, on her experience with Mohs vs. excision.

    I have had both Mohs and excision for basal and squamous cell. They were all done in the dermatologist's office. I can say that recovery is not as bad as I expected and my scars are barely visible.

    Whether you tell your employer is entirely up to you. If you will need to be off for surgery, you may want to let your employer know the reason. I have usually gone to work the day after surgery with just Tylenol.

    As far as telling your friends and family, I can say it is nice to have support. You may want someone to go with you on the day of your procedure. It really helps to take your mind off things. Here is an article by Renee. She really does a wonderful job of explaining what to do the day before Mohs.

    I completely understand your anxiety. Basal cell is scary, but melanoma is much more serious. Yours is a non-melanoma cancer. So that is a huge plus! I have had both melanoma and BCC. I am including an article on BCC that may answer your questions.

    It is easy to become anxious when you receive a skin cancer diagnosis of any type. If therapy was beneficial to you and your anxiety has increased since your diagnosis, therapy might be helpful. Self-care is so important. Please know that this community is here for you any time. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. We will do our best to answer them.

    Please keep us posted on your progress. Sending you lots of hugs!

    April,, Moderator

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