• If you have skin cancer, have you heard this? "Well, at least it's ONLY skin cancer"!

    Asked by dollymama on Thursday, January 26, 2017

    If you have skin cancer, have you heard this? "Well, at least it's ONLY skin cancer"!

    I guess it's just public perception that skin cancer isn't anything to worry about. People hear about all the people that have it cut off of their face or ear and nothing else is ever done. But then there are those like me that have had it metastasize and it's serious. They just don't get it. Then, if I try to explain that it's really a serious thing, they act like I'm just trying to dramatize it. So, I just keep my mouth shut.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I haven't heard that myself, I haven't had that type. But I've had a Father-In-Law and a Brother-in-Law that have had spots cut off and both of them acted like it was no big deal. I think it's just a misunderstood type of cancer. People do not understand how serious it can be.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      What!!!
      I had Melanoma, years ago, many years ago. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. Was in surgery for 8 hours, had a huge cast on my arm, & was cut up on my leg, my stomach, under my arm & my upper chest. I have horrible scars & always am very self-conscious about them.
      Then I had 3 other serious & rare non-skin cancers 5 or 6 years ago. More scars.

      Recently I have had 3 Moh's surgeries for basal cell carcinomas, 2 on my face, 1 on a leg. Moh's surgeries are quite unpleasant, skin is peeled off & then checked for cancer cells, and then peeled off again until it shows clear. Sometimes skin is cut & then cauterized, ever smelled your own skin burning? The anesthetic used is not very effective, & of course, more scars.

      Almost every time I go to the dermatologist, I get something "JUST" cut off.
      You should not just keep your mouth shut, you are not doing yourself a favor and certainly should teach others about this type of cancer.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Songwriter's Avatar
      Songwriter

      If it is early all you need is to get it off...That's why check ups every 6 months is good as we can't see our back and some other places.

      almost 4 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      I had Lymphoma, and I heard that a couple of times! 2 doctors actually told me, " If you're going to get cancer, Lymphoma is the one to get, its very treatable "
      And my pastor told me, my brother had Lymphoma, its nothing!

      almost 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      O crapola Molly72.

      I just opted for MOHS over different plastic surgery because it is a squamous cell at my shin. Dont want it coming back there or at all.

      Now I am really not looking forward to it. I have seen 4 surgeons so far. The MOHS one was so dispassionate I dont want to go back and he insisted I would need plastic surgery afterward.

      Seeing a lady MOHS doc on the first. What should I be asking and expecting?
      Glad you have survived.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      Songwriter, my melanoma WAS in the early stages, I think it was stage 2... Melanoma can move thru you very quickly.
      But all the surgery I had was to make sure it went no further, by removing lymph glands. Also doing major skin graphs. Hardly just getting it off!

      almost 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Skin cancer is not a "good cancer" It is treatable if caught early. Those little lesions that they burn off are not really cancer, they are precancerous lesions. Skin cancer is serious stuff. One good thing is it is usually visible and in my case vanity has always made me get anything suspicious (and ugly) removed. But those people are just kidding themselves if they don't think they should watch out for skin cancer. .

      almost 4 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      Dear Geekling,
      We are both brave & both have put up with a bunch of dreck from a lot of various medical "experts"! So here's the true skinny on Moh's surgery.
      First I had a very competent surgeon, he only does Moh's stuff. He was a nice guy & had a great office staff. He even had free donuts, bagels and fancy coffee drinks, but he should have had stronger drinks if you ask me!
      I had 3 cancers done by him, but not at the same time. Medicare paid all the costs except for a co-pay. They were pretty expensive procedures, I think about $1500+ each.

      I had 2 on my face, 1 on my lower leg, near shin & ankle area. You will be relieved to hear that the leg one was the least trouble. The one on my nose was worst. Was just nasty.
      You are given a local pain shot, but kvetch constantly & you will be given more, just in case! Then the dr. slices a very thin sliver of skin off the area in question & has it sent to a lab in his office to have it checked for cancer cells. You go to his waiting area & eat & drink for a while. If it comes back clear, you are stiched up & sent home with a bag of bandages, cleanser & cream.
      But usually, the sliver is not clear & you need to have another slice taken off & the procedure is repeated until it is all clear.Sometimes they cauterize the area--terrible smell.
      At home you need to keep the area dry for 24hrs., then clean & redress it every day. A checkup will be in about 2 weeks. It is sore, but nothing too bad.
      As far as needing plastic surgery, unless it is extremely deep, you should not need it. I have a ugly scar on my leg. But on my face, I have 2 & the one on my nose is not pretty. The other on my chin is a raised lump.
      The nose surgery was a bit of a hastle. Not much fat on a nose, & he had to do 3 separate slices
      and a cauterization. I kvetched! Got lot's of pain shots! At home, I have a dear friend who is a nurse, she did all my dressing and cleaning.
      So good luck, find a competent & kind dr, let me know what happens.

      almost 4 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      So not True. I had STAGE IIIB Nodular Melanoma which spread I had surgery and a year of treatment of Inter Faron. No laughing matter. It's what they call the Silent but Deadlist form of Cancer you can get. If caught early great if not you could die.

      Deb

      almost 4 years ago
    • TallBald's Avatar
      TallBald

      Heard that twice. Melanoma and Prostate Cancer....

      So many people don't know what to say when we say we have ________ Cancer.. I want to believe the mean the best and are really just not informed.

      almost 4 years ago
    • DonnainRI's Avatar
      DonnainRI

      I have heard that even from a fellow nurse. I get so aggravated by that. I just got my latest PET scan results and it looks like I have "graduated" to stage IV. I have several areas of FDG uptake in both groins and also one near my abdominal aorta. My oncologist said that at this point they would consider it to be seeding elsewhere. I am having a lymph node biopsy on Tuesday (I think I will just ask to have a zipper placed there since it will be the 6th procedure affecting my left groin). My oncologist has already talked about a clinical trial that they will probably place me in assuming the biopsy is positive. I am staying positive for now but I am sure at some point before Tuesday I will have a meltdown. I had a minor one last night, but the full impact has not totally hit me. Even though I know intellectually what is happening, I still think of it more in medical terms as opposed to "Holy XXX, this really could kill me."

      almost 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      @DonnainRI we wish you the best and hope the trials will get it under control for you! @Molly72, thanks for sharing your personal experience with a certain type of procedure you had. You, and your experiences being shared are precisely why this site was formed, so we could share with others the "real" information and help one another. Thanks to everyone on the site, also, for contributing whenever you can.

      almost 4 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      My stepdad had skin cancer and, for him, it wasn't a big deal. He went occasionally to his dermatologist and had the cancers removed and that was that. I guess we were very fortunate that none of his skin cancers metastisized!! I adopted his attitude about skin cancer (not melanoma), which was lackadaisical. Shows that i need to be better educated.

      I have a friend who had a very small basal cell carcinoma on her nose. She completely freaked out. She thought half her face was going to be cut off. As it turned out, hers was only a surface cancer so was easily remedied. It was a shame that she stressed like she did prior to the procedure.

      Until i was diagnosed with lung cancer, the cancer i feared most was melanoma. If anyone makes light of melanoma, they have had their heads in the sand.

      almost 4 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      You hear so much weird talk when you get cancer. Everything from "That's the good cancer" to "Stay strong, you will get through this". Sometimes, I wish people would just say things like "I'm sorry and how can I help you?" Until someone has walked in your shoes, they really don't know cancer. Any cancer can be serious. There's no real scale of seriousness with cancer.

      almost 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Finally, I got to tell my gf from HS about the little squamous cell on my leg. We only talked relatively briefly. She has enough stress in her life. She listened to me. She knows jext to nothing about it but windered if I was going to follow up with (she didnt know the words) radiation and chemotherapy to be sure I was rid of it. I tried to allay her worries. Told her neither of those things would be necessary as long as the thing was contained and the MOHS surgeon could get it all. I asked her to think thoughts of the surgeon being able to get clrar margins and explained what those were.
      I know she wishes me well and she doesnt think any cancer is good.

      I am lucky to have picked my friend very well. Make sure you do so too.

      High hopes and best wishes

      almost 4 years ago
    • Dar-Sum's Avatar
      Dar-Sum

      Sadly, yes I have heard this. People minimizing skin cancer. Clearly they’ve never been told they have cancer.

      When you first hear that word your first thought isn’t “thank God it’s only skin cancer”. I know for me, I came right out and said “what does this mean, am I going to die?!”

      Ive had three separate biopsies on my nose, and sentinel lymph node surgery on my neck. I am thankful to have learned it has not Spread.

      I did not have Mhos surgery but rather a plastic surgeon removed the lesion. My Dermatologist felt given if was on my nose that plastics was the way to go.

      Skin graph surgery scheduled Tuesday on nose.

      After all is said and done I can honestly say it’s changed my life. Being cancer free at this moment does not leave me worry free. I can’t speak for everyone but for me, I know in the small corner in the back of my mind I will always be wondering will it come back. Will they catch it.... again?

      And as for the sun, well me and the sun are the best friends these days. Just the thought of being outdoors kind of freaks me out.

      But , I’m here to share my story which means I got to live and for that I am blessed.

      And one day I’ll be ready to welcome the Sun back into my life, but this time I will be much better prepared!

      over 2 years ago

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