Get it checked out!

This time last year we were laying on a beach in Mexico enjoying the sun, sea, food and wildlife, we have great memories from that holiday and we made friends. After we arrived home, we proceeded with life as normal.  Around May time I noted what looked like small pimple on my back, next to a mole that I had had since I was a child. At this point I did not think much about it, as it was not causing me any concern. 

However, over the next two months, my little friend grew to about 1 cm across and I kept on catching it when drying myself. By catching it with the towel, I unfortunately ripped the skin slightly and it became slightly infected.  Next stop was the doctors for a check. I was more concerned about it because I was going on holiday 6 weeks later for more Sun.. a previous appointment I had with determatology went through in about 6 weeks, and they excised a group of blood vessels that had clustered and formed a lump on the surface of the skin. This minor op left me with stitches for 2 weeks. I didn’t want that on holiday!

Based on past experience and the possibility of an appointment just before holiday, I didn’t want to chance the appointment, so asked the doctor to make a note on the referral. Unfortunately, this was then not seen as an emergency.. Holiday went by, lots of high factor sun cream and a wonderful healthy tan. 

When we got back from holiday no letter had been received, so I made an appointment with the doctor again, just to check on my new friend… at this point it was about the same size, so I was advised that they would contact the hospital about the referral… 

November arrives, still nothing, so I contact the doctors and check that the referral was sent. I was advised that it had and was provide with Dermatologies contact details. Un be known to me, the waiting list was in excess of 14 weeks and I was advised that I would receive notice in January.. Me being me, thought ok, NHS is busy, I will wait my turn… 

So I finally get my appointment in February 2017… the consultant looks at it, and the first words out of his mouth was wow, that’s big and I haven’t seen anything like that before. I asked, “when you say big, how big?” He responds about 1.5 cm! As you can imagine I was a little shocked that my friend had grown another half centimetre… Anyway the doc advised that he wasn’t happy with it and was going to remove it that same day under local using a scraping method, basically it was cut out to just over the size of a penny and the same depth of a penny to ensure the bad stuff was taken and some good stuff so they could properly analyze it. I was patched up and sent home with an appointment in 4 weeks

The healing process is from the inside out, so basically it remains an open wound and gradually scabs and heals. I went back to see the consultant at the end of February, and it was not a surprise when he told me it was a basal carcinoma, basically non mellonoma skin cancer. The good news was that they had removed it all. I asked why it was cancer, because I take all the usual precautions on holiday with high factor sun creams etc.  He said you have blue eyes, fair skin and hair, and here on the south coast of England we are seeing more of this on a regular basis… 

Why am I telling you about this little thing that happened to me, when I googled “Basal Carcinoma”, some of images I saw were horrific, that could have been me if I had ignored it.. all I am saying if you find something that is not normally there, don’t just think it’s your age or it will go away, it may not. 

I was lucky,  it was dealt with without any additional surgery after the initial removal.  Some people have to have extensive surgery and skin graphs there after to cover the holes left in the skin of even worse… 

If you find something, go to the doctor and get it checked out, and take the first appointment you can get with a specialist. Don’t think it can wait, or let something get in the way of an early appointment.  

If you like the sun take precautions, if you don’t, you may end up as another statistic and as picture on google under “Basal Carcinoma”

Take care out there people…..

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