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Has anyone treated the lip area with Efudex?

I have treated my chest and face with Efudex, but I haven’t treated my lips. I’m looking for any pointers on how to best go about avoiding ingesting the cream and any tips for staying comfortable while treating this highly sensitive area. Thanks in advance!


Community Answers
  • SunshineGirl
    6 months ago

    What does your dermatologist recommend? The fact that it keeps returning is a pretty good sign that further investigation is required. If that happens, you should also talk to a plastic surgeon. A dear friend of mine had MOHS once on the lower lip but, like you, the doctor had to continue freezing the spot. The plastic surgeon did a wonderful job with the repair. Good luck!

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    6 months ago

    You’ve truly been through it, @jimmyd. I’m so sorry. Skin cancer is a beast. Try not to google too much; the images you run across can do more harm than good sometimes. Here’s an article on skin grafts that might answer some questions you have.
    https://skincancer.net/q-and-a/skin-graft/

    As far as spreading, melanoma can definitely spread if left untreated. This article addresses that more in depth. https://skincancer.net/diagnosis/spreading-lymph-node/

    It sounds like you are being proactive, though. Keep it up! Wishing you all the best! April, Skincancer.net, Moderator

  • jimmyd
    6 months ago

    My first surgery involved going back and making a larger incision after testing to see if they got it all. I took a picture after the second time I went back there. Glad I did because I would never realize how much he actually took. He ended up stitching it back together with 13 or 15 stitches. When they tested for it with the biopsy, she took a chunk of my lip and then cotterized it. It looked nasty after. If she has to biopsy another spot, and it comes back non-cancerous, I wonder what the hole would look like and if it will fill-in on its own? I know if it is cancerous and requires Mohs they can sew it back up. Didn’t realize they can take skin from my body and put it there. I just hope he doesn’t take it from my butt because people wouldn’t call me an ass kisser. Can this spread to the jaw and mouth area too? I googled a bit by mistake and saw some nasty pictures of people’s faces being cut apart. :0 that might have been a different type of cancer though. Thanks!!

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    6 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, @RonniGordon!

  • RonniGordon
    6 months ago

    They might fix a bigger hole by taking skin from somewhere else (a graft) and patching it. I’m not sure about the lip, but I had a large Mohs surgery on my ankle and it was too big to heal on its own. They took a graft out of the side of my stomach and placed it over the hole, which was about the size of a quarter. I thought both areas would never heal, but they did. I also had a Mohs on my lip and that healed too. So, the answer is, if it is large, whether or not it is cancerous, they can do something about it. Hope this helps but you could also ask your doctor because he or she is not going to leave it open!

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    6 months ago

    @jimmyd
    I think we may have found someone who has some experience with a similar situation. I believe she may pop over and reply to this comment.
    April, @Skincancer.net, Moderator

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hi @jimmyd
    I’m so sorry you’re facing these issues once again. I know you have a million questions and are expecting the worst. It sounds like you have done everything right by following up with regular visits. Hopefully, the spot you’re concerned about is not one that needs the dreaded biopsy. I wish I had the answer to your question about how completely you would heal following the procedure. Unfortunately, I don’t have personal experience with a second surgery in the same area. I’m going to share your question with the team and ask that it be posted on our Facebook page to see if we can find members who can ease your fears. I’m keeping you in my thoughts! April, @skincancer.net, Moderator

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hi Jimmy,
    I’m so sorry you’re facing these issues once again. I know you have a million questions and are expecting the worst. It sounds like you have done everything right by following up with regular visits. Hopefully, the spot you’re concerned about is not one that needs the dreaded biopsy. I wish I had the answer to your question about how completely you would heal following the procedure. Unfortunately, I don’t have personal experience with a second surgery in the same area. I’m going to share your question with the team and ask that it be posted on our Facebook page to see if we can find members who can ease your fears. I’m keeping you in my thoughts! April, @skincancer.net, Moderator

  • jimmyd
    6 months ago

    I had Mohs on my lower lip about four years ago. Took a big chunk out and stitched it up after. I have been getting my lip frozen every 6 months since. However, I just had to go twice the past two months. I’m wondering if it is another spot that needs to be biopsied. I do not want to have a biopsy out of my lip again. It was a huge hole then cotterized (sp) after. Had the Mohs shortly after. How would he fix a bigger hole in my lip if it is cancerous again, and will the lip heal fully if she biopsies it and it isn’t cancerous? Thanks!

  • April Pulliam moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thank you so much for your advice. I feel like I’m an old pro with Efudex, but this lip treatment has thrown me for a loop. I’ve had a few spots frozen on my lips over the years, and strangely enough, I assumed I was clear in the lip area. I knew better–it’s never-ending. I’m definitely taking note of your methods. I plan to start mid-April and finish up before summer break begins. Thanks again! April, Skincancer.net, Moderator

  • LizL moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi April, I have needed to use 5FU on my lips, medication that is similar to Efudex.
    You are right that the lips are very sensitive.
    Due to that reason, I was unable to use the cream for as long as I have used it on other facial areas.
    I used the cream at bedtime to avoid licking my lips.
    When I applied the cream too close to my inner lips, to remove any excess, I would use a gloved finger, (covered with a gauze pad), in my mouth and then withdraw it through pursed lips.
    If painful, I would use cool compresses as needed.
    Despite the shorter time used, the 5FU was quite effective, thank heavens!
    I wish you the very best of luck, even better than my experience!
    Please keep me in the loop on how you are doing.
    Thanks, Elizabeth Lebowitz – SkinCancer.net – Site Moderator

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