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Anyone had more than one basal cell carcinoma?

(20 Posts)
MaggieTulliver Thu 02-May-19 16:43:34

I've already had one (on my face) and am awaiting biopsy results for a lesion on my nose which is another likely BCC. I've also just noticed another small spot on my nose and am trying not to convince myself that it's another of the pesky things. Unfortunately for me (because I have health anxiety), I've come across quite a lot of research that suggests that people who've had multiple BCCs are more likely to get other cancers (not just of the skin, but breast, bowel, lung etc).

I'm not really concerned about the BCCs themselves because they're easily treated; what worries me is this possible link. Would be interested to know if any of you have had more than one BCC and if your doctors have said anything about this issue.

Chewbacca Thu 02-May-19 16:47:39

I've just had a bcc removed from my nose and I'm still waiting for the results of that. Like you, I've found another on my forehead so will probably have to have that checked too. It's grim waiting for the results back isn't it?

MaggieTulliver Thu 02-May-19 16:52:24

Yes it's horrid Chewbacca! Especially as it takes such a long time. Wishing you all the best.

Grannyknot Thu 02-May-19 16:53:25

Hi Maggie I have - 40 years apart.

I'm sorry you have health anxiety. My advice would be to stop reading research!

I'm not being unsympathetic, I had health anxiety about cancer after my mother - a non-smoker - died from lung cancer. I was always at the doctors until one of them said to me You won't stop worrying until we take all your organs out and skin you. That - believe it or not - cured me, because I realised that I my fears were worse than what might or might not happen. I didn't want to live in constant fear, so I stopped worrying. An act of will.

It wasn't here by the way, it was 25 years ago and in another country. I doubt a doctor here would say something like that to me! smile

Good luck.

MaggieTulliver Thu 02-May-19 17:04:02

Grannyknot I'm sorry about your mum. Thank you for your understanding and wise words - your doctor's words made me laugh out loud! It's so true, living in fear of what might or might not happen is no way to live.

janeainsworth Thu 02-May-19 17:14:11

This article confirms what you say about frequent BCCs indicating an increased risk of other cancers, but presents an upside - that it is justification for more frequent screenings. So you might want to think about asking for mammograms after the usual cut-off date, or more frequent tests for bowel cancer.
In your position if I had any worrying symptoms I’d be seeing the doctor sooner rather than later and being a little more persistent than I might otherwise be, in the face of being told it was nothing to worry about.
The main thing is that you yourself are aware that you might be at increased risk, and manage that risk accordingly. That’s all you can do, and worrying won’t help. Remember too, that an increased risk of a small risk is still a small risk.
To answer your question, a close family member has had several bcc’s (nose, ear, face) & never been told by either GP or consultant dermatologist of any other increased risk.

Grannyknot Thu 02-May-19 17:24:18

Maggie it made me smile too just writing and remembering the doctor's words. I'm glad it made you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine after all grin

Grammaretto Thu 02-May-19 17:37:55

I had my second BCC removed by MOHS surgery last summer.
It was on my nose and quite extensive. I haven't had any other cancer.
Good luck to you.

Franbern Thu 02-May-19 18:06:54

I have had 3 BCC's all on my face. First one was side of nose, close to eye, had that removed with plastic surgery as as a large area. Second one, was about eight years later, on side of face, quickly and easily removed, just a few stitches. Then less that a year later I went to the GP with patch on my forehead, just discoloured, no spot. Newly qualified GP, dismissed my fears as groundless, not presenting like a BCC. I insisted and the Senior Doctor in the practice told him to refer me. Even when they took a small biopsy, I was still feeling I maybe wasting everyone's time.
Went to hospital for results, took my shopping bags with me as intended to do my weeks shopping when i left after my appointment. Was taken aback when told biopsy had confirmed BCC and they wanted to take it out then and there. Although there was no 'bump' on the skin, it had spread downwards and sideways, and took a long time for them to get it all out and eight stitches.
I am now very aware of any spot that either bleeds and/or does not heal very quickly and always take such things to GP. Had one on my breast a couple of years back, bleeding and spreading. Was taken seriously, but turned out to nothing more than an infected spot which responded to anti-biotic cream and tablets. But was sent for mammogram to check it was nothing more.

ffinnochio Thu 02-May-19 20:09:03

My dermatology consultant has said nothing to that effect to me. I’ve has quite a few BCC’s, one SCC and a melanoma. All treated with a variety of options - excision, ‘chemo’ cream, radiation.
I see the DC yearly. I am very fair.
I don’t worry. They’ve all been ‘in situ’ and I have no long term concerns.
Easy to say try not to worry, but stay off the Dr.Google thing and realise that many skin lesions of this sort occur with age and most are treated very successfully.
Religiously apply factor 50!

MaggieTulliver Thu 02-May-19 21:02:14

Thank you everyone for your comments. I will indeed stay off Dr Google ffinnochio and try to follow your example of not worrying.

Chewbacca Thu 02-May-19 23:06:56

The doctor that I saw about my bcc told me that there has been a huge surge in people in their 60s and 70s being referred to them. This is because spf suncreams didn't become widely available until the mid 1960s and, by then damage had been done to young skin, particularly on the face. He advised that sun cream with no less than spf 25 should be used, even on cloudy days, especially on the face and neck.

Grannyknot Fri 03-May-19 11:11:26

I think I've said this on the forum before, but I was appalled when I went with my daughter who had MOHS for a BCC on the crown of her head, to see how many young women there were with sun-bed cancers. (My daughter's was from growing up in a hot climate).

"Surely" I said to the nurse, "the answer is to ban sunbeds?" However, an NHS MOHS clinic is being opened in "the North" to cope with the number of young people up there who need it, she told me.

flaxwoven Fri 03-May-19 11:23:29

My husband has had two basal cell carcinomas removed from his ear. These are on the surface of the skin and almost never go any deeper, so there is no need to worry. He had them removed under local anaesthetic and stitched and you can't see anything at all. It started with a red spot which became harder and painful. Was told it was a result of sun damage when younger. He now wears a proper sun hat all the time, not just a cap which does not cover the ears.

Daddima Fri 03-May-19 11:59:29

The Bodach had a BCC removed a couple of years ago, then I made him get a keratosis looked at a few months later, but doc said that was nothing to worry about. He went on Wednesday to an urgent appointment for a very aggressive looking lesion, which doc said looked very like a melanoma, and she removed it immediately. We need to wait a couple of weeks for lab reports, but he has also suddenly become very confused, so the worry now is that the two things are connected. However, the doctor said none of these lesions are connected.

Booklady54 Fri 03-May-19 16:50:19

I've had a melanoma, a SCC on my lip and recently a BCC on my nose. These have occurred 13 years apart. No doctor has ever suggested a link to other cancers. I have a lot of moles and freckles and was also given sunlight treatment for severe acne in the sunscreen applied, so feel this could all be related!!

LadyGracie Fri 03-May-19 16:56:45

I’ve had 4 removed from my nose and one from my ear. There’s a possibility I have another one now next to my nose.

MaggieTulliver Fri 03-May-19 17:37:15

I am not alone smile LadyGracie, your poor nose! Do you have much scarring?

EllanVannin Fri 03-May-19 18:32:45

I've had 3 removed and notice that I have another 3. I'd already had two removed from my forehead a few years back and looked like the Ayatollah with a bandage round my head. Bleeding being the issue because of the warfarin and the fact that I'd had 9 stitches. However it healed quickly and nicely and nobody would know it had been done.
Another has appeared on the upper part of my forehead and there's one on the upper chest/neck area and something " iffy " on the side of my leg.
I have an uncle ( 97 ) who has been prone to these things and is flown over from the IOM for treatment here.
I don't usually have to wait long to get them removed but it's the fiddling about with the warfarin doses that puts me off, stopping and starting the medication until it's at an acceptable level.
BCC's are slow growing and not invasive.

LadyGracie Fri 03-May-19 21:09:13

MaggieTulliver the first BCC I had removed on the left side of my nose needed 18 tiny hair like stitches, it left a fine silver line about 2cm long, I can’t really see where the others on my nose were and I have a small dent in my ear where that one was removed, that one bled an awful lot.