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All things Efudex (Fluorouracil)

  • By NinaHU Keymaster

    Share your tips, tricks, and challenges for dealing with topical chemotherapy. Connect with others who’ve used Efudex (Fluorouracil) or other topical chemos.

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  • By lauraspec

    I started a 2 week program on my face with efudex and only lasted 12 days. I stopped using it 4 days ago and the sores around my nose are spreading to my cheeks and chin. My mouth broke out in the corners and on the lips and is not spreading down my chin. Is this normal to keep going after treatment has stopped? if so, how long will this continue? I find the only relief I get is putting a polysporin suave with a freezing agent in it but it only lasts approx 30 min….I just want to scratch my face off with the itching and the throbbing…any suggestions?

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      Thank you for reaching out, @lauraspec! This sounds similar to what April has tried for her treatments, and I see you already spoke with her. April actually talks here about this phenomena of the skin getting worse, temporarily, after treatment ends here: https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/efudex-side-effects-tips/. It’s always good to hear a variety of perspectives, so I will send others here who have had experience with Efudex and see if we can get some answers. Wishing you relief soon! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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    • By lcmayb

      Oh yes mine too. I have been upsizing efulix for 2 weeks on my nose and it has been so sore, feels like it is weeping at night and crusty in the morning. I can hardly sleep they irritate me also during the day, feel like my nose is on fire. Also have noticed a few nasty looking spots (which I have not put cream on!) on my top lip, wonder if this is normal. Hope to get some relief by sharing, and may get some advise on how to ease the pain and not feel self conscious.

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      Hi @lcmayb, it sounds like you’re in a tough phase of the treatments. I wanted to share April’s article with some tips, in case it’s helpful: https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/tips-for-efudex-users/. If you click on her name, you can get to more of her articles on Efudex and other topics. Perhaps we’ll hear from someone else here too! We’re thinking of you and hoping for relief soon. – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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    • By lcmayb

      Thank you, I read the article you suggested, so informative, seems I have only just started the efudex journey! I had no idea that when treatment stopped (and I am a week away – I hope!) that the pain would continue. What a painful couple of weeks I have had so far. This group has been a life saver for me, to hear others stories and many so like how I feel, I wear glasses all the time, but have found that my nose is so sore and must be swollen as my glasses push on a Nasty skin cancer on the bridge of my nose, so have been not wearing them.

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  • By DoninAjijic

    62 yo male. 25 years experience with flouricil. Maybe I’m an efudex junkie because I am an Off Label user. Been frozen, scooped and cut and sewn over the years. These days I apply efudex for up to 10 weeks; at this stage i don’t want AK containment I want AK destruction. See my story at doninajijic. Thanks and I wish all users the best outcome possible.

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      Thanks for commenting here, @doninajijic. I’m sure as more members join the forum, your experience will be very useful for them. You’re also welcome to submit a story about your experiences on skin cancer generally (it sounds like you have many!) here: https://skincancer.net/stories/. Thanks for being here! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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    • By sunworshiper1

      My physician recently prescribed a compound of fluororacil and calcipotriene.
      I’ve also been cut, scooped, Moh’s surgery several times and stitched. I’m healing from 2 scrapings at the moment.
      This combination has worked much more quickly. From what I’ve read I’m hopeful the healing phase will be more tolerable.
      I’ve also used Fluorouracil on it’s own several times over the years.
      The downside is that the compound is not covered by insurance. Two Rx compounds I wish I could mix myself!
      I’ll follow up on the healing process once I get through it.

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  • By hollywood59

    My derma has always prescribed me Zyclara or Aldera, an imiquimod. Zyclara is usd 2 weeks on, two weeks off and 2 weeks on. Aldera is used 3 times a week for as much as 16 weeks. Just like Efudex it kills the skin cancer but can spread if the cancer is under the skin and not seen by the nak d eye yet. My family and friends are use to my twice or sometimes 3 times a year scabs on my face. I prefer starting with the cream if able to. I’ve had 5 Mohs surgeries on my face and scalp and it’s not fun. My father died of an aggressive squamous cell on his scalp that couldn’t be controlled and spread to his brain. This is serious stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Good luck everyone!

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      Thank you for sharing this, @hollywood59! I’m glad you’ve brought your experience here. It’s good to hear those around you are comfortable with the treatment now, as it can be so isolating. Your comment about your father reminded me of what this community member’s mother went through: https://skincancer.net/stories/squamous-monster/. It is cruel indeed. Looking forward to continuing the conversation as others join in! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By feltbike09

    I’m currently applying Efudex for the 2nd consecutive year. While nearly every review of this product describes some kind of horrible reaction, my experience, aside from the visual reaction, has been virtually painless and itch-less. I’ve not gotten sick or lost any sleep. I’ve set aside the uncomfortableness or insecurity of being seen in public and done everything I ordinarily do.

    I have no idea the percentage of people who have severe reactions apposed to those who fortunately breeze through the experience easily, I just wanted to emphasize that when beginning this treatment for the first time you have no idea how you might react, that your reaction might not be all-that-bad.

    Naturally, because of the ease of my first application 1 year ago, the decision to do it again was easy. I’m on day 16 this time and I was expecting a similar visual experience as a year ago. I’m happy to report that the degree of reaction that I had last year is not “appearing” this time. Hopefully this indicates less damage??

    The reaction is intriguing. Areas that appeared discolored or damaged didn’t have any, or very little, reaction and areas that didn’t seem to be problematic (invisible) reacted the most.

    Last year I stopped treatment at 21 days but quickly realized that some areas probably needed an extra week and began the extra week on those specific areas and left the most reactive areas alone. I see the same response this time, especially around the eyes where I didn’t apply the cream as closely the first time. I will stop the application on the crusty areas at day 21 again and continue an extra week on the areas where I’m not satisfied with the progress. Like many, the doctor doesn’t/didn’t provide much info so hopefully this post provided a little encouragement to those who are undecided and confused as to what to do. I’ve been very pleased with the results, health wise, AND with appearance of the skin.

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  • By heidimarie

    Hope I’m doing this correctly.
    I’m new to the site.
    I just finished my 1st round of the chemo cream and have some questions.
    On the second morning after applying on my face my nose felt like I got punched or child jumped and hit your nose. It felt both swollen and thick inside. (Trying my best to describe it). It would happen on and off for the 3 weeks I was doing it. I didn’t know what to make of it. The 3 areas of concern never responded to the cream. Was happy that I did because the additional spots I was worried about did respond. Some were pretty bad looking.
    My second question, has anyone felt a little round bump under their skin and have a black pore next to the bump? I always thought I have an annoying blackhead that just kept filling up. I know how another that’s attached to a childhood mole on my nose.
    This are the areas of concern that The dermatologist wanted to respond to the cream. I’m to start the creme again soon but decided to wait get a second opinion. Appt is this week.
    Would love to hear from you. Pls don’t sugarcoat anything with me. I prefer you to be true and straight w me. You won’t scare me😉. Having skin cancer is real and something has to be done more to educate the world about us non melanoma warriors.

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  • By rizla123

    Hi
    I received the results of my biopsy today and have been
    prescribed Efudix cream again today (last time was about 3 yrs ago) Apparently it is a BCC which will not spread. I have already had 3 removed but the one on my forehead does not want to go away. They tell me it is low risk but I am worried

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    • By NinaHU Keymaster

      I’m sorry you’re having another round with Efudex, @rizla123! Am I correct in understanding that the BCC on your forehead is where you’ll be treating with Efudex? Have you had treatment on that spot before? These spots can certainly be stubborn. If you’re able to get an appointment with a different derm for a second opinion, perhaps that can ease your concerns. We’re thinking of you and do let us know how things progress. – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By mcbanks

    I’m 11 days in on a 2x day for 14 days treatment of Efudex. First 5 days was nothing. Then it went to feeling like fire ants under my skin. That lasted for a few days and it sucked. But not as bad as today. Now it feels like all the sunburns I’ve ever had rolled up in one.
    I’m in quite a bit of pain. Eating ibuprofens like skittles with little relief. My doc never mentioned this part. I’m 3 days out from follow up visit. I refuse to quit before then. I look like hell but feel worse. I’m not thrilled reading about how discomfort is worse after stopping. Is that normal for everyone?

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  • By lcmayb

    I too am having ibuprofen about every hour or two, I am 76 and have no side effects to using it. The pain is unbearable at times, especially when we are in the middle of a heat wave.

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