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Full Version: Skin Cancer what to look for on clients and yourself
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sobeit

I have had basil cell skin cancer removed from the back of my neck. I was 33. It started out feeling like a little bump or pimple. It morphed into the kind of mole that is skin colored but looks like a pencil eraser. I only had it removed because I didn't want it and it was sore. My doctor told me it was a normal mole. She was very surprised to call me and tell me it was cancer and needed to have more perimeter removed. Basil Cell is the one cancer so I hear that is actually linked to sun exposure. While not deadly, it does spread and is skin marring.
Then on my lower leg next to my tattoo ( I have a before pic below ) I had a freckle, a regular light tan freckle. I dont know when it turned black, but I was rubbing lotion on last month and noticed a black spot, it looked like a scab, so I compared it to my photo. It was not larger or odd shaped, the bigger warning signs, just black and a little raised up. Made an appointment. The biopsy came back severly atypical. The dermatologist told me the chances of it becoming a melenoma were to high to risk it. So yesterday I had a much larger section removed. They will test it to see if the borders are clear of the cells, if so, I am good to go, if not, its back to the surgeon. I have to go once a year and have a full body look over now. Seems like my chances of skin cancer have increased.

As nail techs, we have the opportunity to watch our clients legs, feet, hands and arms for any changes. I did not hesitate to tell me client I think she needs to have a mole checked. I am waiting to hear from her how it went. Its so important that we pay attention to the spots we can see on them. And to check ourselves.

Think your still a little young for skin cancer? I am 37, my sister in law just had skin cancer removed as well. She is 39, hers was a tiny purple spot on her shoulder, it was melanoma, and had metastasized. She thankfully did not have it spread to her body, but now she has had several more removed, nothing bad, phew. She had to have a skin graph done to repair her section of mole removal. This was 2 months ago. We are both fair skinned. I am dark haired and eyes while she is very light blonde blue eyes. freckle monsters.

Here is my photo of my freckle. It was just like the rest on my freckly yet smokin hot self hahaha. It was not something anyone, including the dermatologist thought would turn like it did. It wasnt a mole to begin with. I say this because we think we only have to watch our moles, you need to watch everything and see if it changes.
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Tis fate that you posted this as I just noticed a change in a freckle on my husband's upper chest this morning. I know that he will not want to hear it, but we will be discussing a doctor appointment...immediately!

sobeit

If it weren't for my sister in law and her recent discovery, I may have left my little spot and decided to just watch it instead of having it checked. I may have waited until I needed a lot more done to treat it. So he may not be to excited but it beats waiting too long.
This is a great post Peggy! Although I'm sorry you've had to go through all that, it wakens us up to things we may have otherwise ignored.

sobeit

Your welcome Big Grin I am just fine. I do have a spot on my back that needs close watching. But it's life. I just don't know why my issues are all near tattoos so they have pieces missing. Sad
Well, Peggy...I do have one piece of advise to offer you about treatment. Instead of seeing a dermatologist and ending up having Mohs surgery, you may want to consider seeing a radiation therapist. They can use a local targeted radiation to irradicate the spot without cutting on you. This will leave some redness that fades and not interrupt your tats. I did not find this out until too late with my father, but I am defo glad that the radiation therapist we did end up with was as great as he was. That is who I am taking my hubby to.

sobeit

Would that be for cancer, or for when they want to remove atypical cells? Thank you for the info as well. Big Grin
I can't say for every therapist, but ours removed both on my dad after finding them.
Thanks for the post. I think ill make that appt ive been putting off. When i was a teen my mother took me to a specialist to have this white bump/mole looking thing on my check checked. The dr said it was nothing and they could either leave it or put some topical cream on it that would "eat it away". So my mother decided to leave it instead of putting a pit in my face where the bump use to be. But lately it isnt white its redish and is now wearing away and changed shape. My family dr said it was the face wash i was using and to just use plan ivory soap instead. I may put a pic up and see what you ladies think. its really bothering me and i have a friend ask "whats that on your check?" the other night while i was doing her nails. one factor i should add is ive been using that Bio Oil from walgreens instead of regular face cream.

sobeit

Anytime something changes, you need to have it checked. Not just looked at where they may say its nothing. They don't know until the biop it. They guess. The mole they said was normal, ended up cancer. I could have taken her word for it and then would have needed several inches remove instead of a centimeter. It's best to hear back that it's nothing, than leave it to their thining process.
Great info to share Peggy! I am fair skinned too and often think it is time to visit a Derm for a check up...The hubby has had a couple of spots removed that indicate a high risk for Melanoma.
Mitchele~I would suggest that you ask to be referred to a plastic surgeon for that type of removal. My husband had a spot on his cheek removed, that they had to go pretty deep and wide to get all, but you cannot even tell. Good luck.
Thanks for the advice. Was your husband able to go back to work right away? I think ill call a derm tuesday and see if they can at least check it out. I havent had it looked at since 1996. its just now getting red and the other day it actually swelled a little. ive stopped using facial cleansers and the bio oil for now. I switched to olay bar soap and ponds heavy cream. so far it is helping the irratation. I wonder if my BCBS covers a derm ill have to check when i can get a live person on the phone lol
Yes, he was able to return to work that day if he wanted to. They just did a local anesthetic for his. Keep us posted!
FYI, the most fatal cancer per occurance is skin cancer between/on the toes. (Melanoma) Most people think it is just a blood blister or a mole and that is why it is so deadly - it is detected way too late, post metastisis.

As pedicurists, you need to look between the toes of every client and refer them to a podiatrist or derm if you see anything "out of normal" - for hvns sake, don't say "geez that looks like cancer!" A close friend of mine saw what she thought was a blood blister from trauma betw her toes but it didn't go away within a short time so she mentioned it to her dr = melanoma that was caught/removed and she is fine.
We have pictures/information on this in the Advanced Nail Technician Program - along with a whole lot of other information of course, on http://www.medinails.com.

sobeit

Wow, thank you Jan, that is very good to know.