First Basal Cell at 71

Last updated: December 2022

I wish I had found this website in June 2022! I always had great skin even at 71. I never even thought of skin cancer and what it might look like. In 2021, I went to a new dermatologist for a spot no bigger than a pore. It did not seem to heal, so I asked my dermatologist and she told me it looked like a broken blood vessel and was nothing to worry about.

Basal cell carcinoma diagnosis

Over a year later the spot was scabbing but not healing. I needed a total body scan and went to my old dermatologist, who had moved, and as soon as she saw this TINY spot she took a biopsy. She had done all my yearly scans for 30 years and never found any skin cancer, so I was not even thinking of skin cancer and was shocked when three days later she told me I had a basal cell on the tip of my nose.

Mohs surgery and reconstruction

To make a very long story short... I had Mohs. The doctor assessed the spot but surgery and reconstruction could not be done until August 8. Two months of hell looking at photos of surgeries and preparing for the worst. My plastic surgeon was my hero. The entire tip of my nose was taken off, but he managed to stitch it up with no skin flap or graft. I also chose anesthesia for the reconstruction and it was a great help! I woke up with only a skin-colored tape over the tip of my nose.

Thankful for my healthcare team

These surgeons are miracle workers. It has now been four months and you cannot tell I ever had surgery. I was one of the lucky ones. In all, I had waited about two years to have this surgery and a pin hole turned into the entire tip of nose bring removed.

Do not wait for a biopsy

Any spot you are concerned with, no matter what your derm tells you, should be biopsied. My fault for going to a "new" derm. I could have had this taken care of 2 years earlier had I gone to my tried-and-true dermatologist.

Fair warning: Time is your enemy when it comes to basal cell. Do not wait! I sincerely wish anyone waiting for any skin cancer removal, the best of results.

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