Basal, Squamous, Melanoma, but Sebaceous?

After having more than 15 skin cancers removed, including basal cell and squamous cell (which required Mohs surgery), I was diagnosed with sebaceous carcinoma in situ. What???? Well, if you look it up, it is cancer of the epithelial lining of the skin, almost always on the eyelid. It is very aggressive and very lethal. I had this sort of small bump behind my left knee that I hadn't really noticed until I went to shave my legs and cut myself. After looking at it, I realized it was actually a red bump that was sort of cone-shaped. I'm thinking...ok, probably basal or squamous. So my derm doctor biopsied it, and I went on about my business.

Sebaceous carcinoma diagnosis

Just a few days later, she called. I thought I knew the routine...come in, cut it off, etc. Only this time, she was obviously more concerned than the times before. She explained to me that it was sebaceous carcinoma and that she was sending me to a cancer surgeon. The urgency of her voice scared me to no end. She explained that this type of cancer spreads like melanoma and wasn't to be trifled with!

So I went to the skin cancer surgeon, and he was quite concerned. First, he scheduled a Mohs for my wrist, and then surgery to excise the sebaceous tumor on my leg. He had a skin cancer convention in CA that weekend before my surgeries, and he took my records with him. No one there had ever seen a diagnosis of sebaceous carcinoma in situ on the leg, and there was no clear protocol for treatment.

After he returned, we had the Mohs in New Orleans, then he removed the lesion on my leg a few days later. He took a huge chunk of tissue and closed it with a multitude of sutures. The lab confirmed that he got it all. So far it has not reoccurred.

Efudex and a family history of skin cancer

I am now on my 14th month of using Efudex and have eliminated many AKs and possible cancers. I use the medication for a while, let my skin heal, and see what needs to be treated next. With a family history of skin cancer, I should have been more careful in the sun. I hope and pray one day that I can be free of these lesions, and I hope that someone else benefits from my experience.

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