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Non-melanoma

BCC on my shin

  • By kopper25

    I am scheduled to have an excision of a BCC on my shin in about a month. This is my 3rd BCC, so I know what to expect with the excision. At least I think I do. 🙂 My first two BCCs were on my face and shoulder. I had Mohs surgery on my face and an excision on my shoulder, both of which went well and the scars have healed nicely. I’m a little more concerned about this third one though, mostly as to the recovery.

    The BCC on my shin has been there for several years and is larger than the others I’ve had. The dermatologist and I both thought it was just a scar. Finally this year I noticed that it had changed and had it biopsied just in case. It was just a shave biopsy, no stitches, but it still took a really long time to heal. Much longer than other biopsies I had done at the same time on my face and neck (which were negative – yay!)

    I know that excisions on lower limbs can be slower to heal, and I’m guessing this one will be a doozy. I’m also worried that just flexing my ankle while walking could pull on the stitches. I know I’ll have to stay out of the gym for 2 weeks until the stitches are out, (plus I’m annoyed that spring should be arriving here in Kansas right about the time I’m supposed to limit my activity), but I can live with that. 🙂 If anyone has thoughts about wound healing on a lower leg that they’d like to share, I’d love to hear them! Thanks, Christy

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  • By April Pulliam Moderator

    Hi Christy,

    I am hoping someone else can chime in on healing in the lower limbs. I have only experienced basal surgeries on my neck and shoulder. I can attest to the fact that movement does, indeed, stretch those stitches. As much as I have to move my head and neck as a teacher, I didn’t have any stitches loosen, though.

    I am sorry that recovery is going to hit you at an active time. That has to be hard for you. Hopefully, your surgeon/doctor will be able to give you some pointers on healing or maybe some ointments to apply that will keep the surgery site from being so dry and prone to tugging at the stitches.

    Congrats on those negative biopsies, by the way! That’s great news! Keep us posted on your surgery and recovery! Best wishes! April, SkinCancer.net, Moderator

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  • By kopper25

    Thanks, April, for the encouraging words! I had my excision on Tuesday, and this one is definitely a lot more sore than previous ones. I’m pretty comfortable as long as I have my leg propped up with an ice bag, but walking and driving are not much fun. I’m sure it will get better every day. Stitches will be in for 3 weeks (a week longer than I thought) so I’ll be babying it along for a while. Looking on the bright side – the surgery part is behind me, and now I can focus on healing. And when I read about people who have to put off treatment for financial/ health insurance reasons, that always reminds me to be grateful for the ability to access good medical care!

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  • By April Pulliam Moderator

    You have such a positive attitude! That helps tremendously when coming with recovery issues. I’m hoping this moves very quickly for you and you are back to your normal routine very soon! I’d love to hear how you’re doing in a few weeks! Wishing you the best! April, @Skincancer.net, Moderator

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  • By NinaHU Keymaster

    Hi @kopper25, I wanted to make sure your healing went well. Thinking of you! – Nina, @SkinCancer.net Team

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    • By kopper25

      Thanks Nina! My shin has healed up really well. I’d say I was completely back to my normal routine within a week of the stitches being out (so a month after the excision). No complications, just another scar to remind me to be religious about the sunscreen! This BCC looked a little different from my first two, so it was also a good lesson about what to watch out for.

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      That’s wonderful, @kopper25! I’m glad it was a smooth healing process, and thank you for providing a timeline so that others can learn from you. There are so many ways BCC can present, it’s often confusing! Hopefully you won’t have any more recurrences for a while, but if you do, don’t hesitate to let us know! I also want to let you know that if you want to share more of your story with the community, you can always do so here: https://skincancer.net/stories/. Best to you! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By sdonchey

    I have a BCC newly diagnosed, on my lower left shin, in front, where the skin is very thin. The dermatologist is recommending localized radiation therapy in lieu of MOHS because the lower leg has poor circulation in older people (over 60) plus the thin tissue, which makes for difficult sutures.
    Does anyone have experience with localized radiation on the shin, or other location???What are the side effects other than dryness, blistering, for a localized radiation on the shin?
    Thank you!

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      Hi @sdonchey, I’ll be sure to send anyone along who mentions radiation therapy! In the meantime, this article could be helpful, as it discusses side effects, and even questions you might want to ask your doc in preparation: https://skincancer.net/treatment/radiation-therapy/. Some of the side effects only apply to certain areas of the body such as the head and neck, so you won’t have to worry about those. It also reinforces what your derm said about this treatment being used on those over 60. Please keep in touch and let us know how things go! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By sdonchey

    Thank you so much..
    ANy comments from those who had BCC excision surgery—-did the surgery remove all of the cancer on your shin (or elsewhere), ??How did the surgeons know if the cancer did not go deeper into the skin???Thank you….

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  • By Debby

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I too had skin cancer on my shin. Squamous cell which was definitely a foreign word to me. My dermatologist acted like it wasn’t a big deal at all. I wasn’t offered MOHs surgery which I would have opted for, but my doctor did not educate me about skin cancer or give me any options. I was shocked and horrified after I saw the hole in my leg. I didn’t know what to do. She told me to just keep it clean, apply neospirin and keep it bandaged. I became allergic to neospirin, adhesive and then the infection occurred which then came antibiotics. Again the doctor thought it was just a little something. I wasn’t healing and felt I needed a wound doctor and I found a good one. After the 1st visit I saw improvements- she did a debridement. Long story short, it took 7 months for my wound to heal. I have a large dark indented scar on my shin. I would like to have it revised or possibly laser therapy to improve the appearance of my scar. Please tell me if you have had a revision on your scars? It is very difficult to find information about cancer on the shin and scar treatment.
    Again thank you for your story. I would be happy to share a picture if you would like.

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