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Less IS More!

Aggressive basal cell

Two weeks ago today, I underwent my second surgery to have my nose reconstructed after having to have another serious Mohs procedure to remove a recurring BCC tumor called Morpheaform. This type of BCC is the most aggressive and invasive and causes so much damage if not caught early. And it’s very difficult to catch it early if you are not on a schedule to see a dermatologist every so often.

A second invasive treatment

My first tumor looked like a pimple that would come and go. Two years later, I finally went to have it checked out. It took three attempts to get clear margins and nearly 150 stitches inside and out and reconstruction of my nose after the surgeon did a cheek flap. Fast forward almost 7 years later, when I went to the dermatologist for a rash and he saw a white area in the scar on my nose. He did a biopsy and it came back the exact type of cancer I had previously.

Finding a surgeon for aggressive basal cell

After discussing with my family, I decided to go to one of the top cancer centers in the nation. It happens to be 50 miles from my home. From the date I called them, to the date I had my surgery was only 24 days. They were awesome! Even though I had to endure two more surgeries, the pain has not been unbearable and the incisions look great so far (I have only seen it the day they removed the stitches) and that is a plus to me. My nostrils will never look the same. One side is pulled up a little more than the other and closed slightly. Yes, I have less nose, but more life!

Focusing on prevention

So, I will go get checked every 6 months, like I should have been doing. I am extremely high risk and I am not ready to go through another surgery on my nose. I have been cautious about the sun since my first surgery and am even more diligent now. I live in the south which means hot and muggy spring, summer and fall, yet I ordered sun-blocking long sleeve shirts and have been wearing them. I will do what I can to keep from damaging my skin any MORE!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Moonmomma
    6 months ago

    I am so sorry you had to go through all that! I am happy to hear you didn’t have too much pain. I am so happy to hear you are so positive. You may have less nose, but you are still here! Keep being positive and may you have no more BCC.

  • Gammy5 author
    5 months ago

    Thank you! I plan to stay positive and my nose is really looking good! I a, please! And cancer free. For now!

  • Nina M moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi @Gammy5, I wanted to share some comments we received on Facebook:

    “I had surgery on my nose in 2004, and it returned ten years later. I then had twenty radiation treatments, and it returned four years later. At what point do you realize that it’s going to come back no matter how much of your nose they take or how much they kill? When it came back this time, I chose Erivedge (chemo) which specifically targets aggressive basal cell carcinoma. I was on it for almost six months, and it did kill most, but not all of it. I’m taking a chemo break, and will look at it again in about a month. I’m just not convinced that surgeries are the answer. I keep thinking that, they could take my entire nose, and it would come back some place else, i.e., on my cheek, forehead, or any number of other places it chooses. I had Melanoma surgery four and a half years ago, and so far, it has not returned. I pray it doesn’t, because this basal cell has been the most horrible of all the surgeries I’ve had to deal with and I’ve had six so far. ” – Deb

    “I hate it when even the office help for the plastic reconstructive surgeon says ” just” basal cell!!” – Sue

    “My biggest fear is to have them return!! I had a BCC on the side of my nose the size of a pencil eraser. Had it biopsied and removed last year, had a flap done. One little dot as I called it turned into the whole side of my nose being reconstructed. ” – Dianna

    “My sympathy to you. I also had five Moh’s surgeries in one day before there were clear margins. then over the next year I had four more reconstruction surgeries on my nose. I am thankful that I still have a nose even though it will never be the same.” – Ruthann

    Thinking of you and as you can see, you’re not alone in this battle! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

  • Gammy5 author
    5 months ago

    Thank you. I know the feeling. The type of cancer I had grows like an octopus and was in my sinus as well as my cheek but I am lucky to have found excellent oncology MOHS and Plastic Surgeons close to home. Chemo was not recommended for this tumor, nor radiation, unless it had grown into my brain and luckily, it had not.

  • Nina M moderator
    5 months ago

    I’m so glad you had excellent care, @Gammy5! Grateful that it didn’t make it to your brain. My uncle had a brain cancer that had a similar way of growing with roots. Thankfully they were able to shrink and treat. I love your positivity and wishing you continued cancer free! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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