Skin cancers?

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Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 21 May, 2021 10:46 am

We are a group of persons [ nice use of non-sexist term???] who spend a lot of time outside.
How many of us have had skin cancers removed?
On Tuesday I'm having day surgery on another squamous cell on my right hand and over the last few years I have had several small cancers and solar keratoses removed with liquid Nitrogen.
Also what is happening with a vaccine for melanoma?
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby johnw » Fri 21 May, 2021 2:13 pm

Yes, in recent years I've had two basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and one squamous cell carcinoma removed.
One BCC in my forehead and the other above my right ear. The squamous was on the back of my left hand.
Surgical wounds in my hand and forehead required 11 and 26 stitches respectively. I have an annual checkup which has been clear for the past couple of years.
That said I'm currently keeping an eye on a very small lesion near the forehead BCC site. Scheduled to go back to the doc next month for a follow up.
Strangely, a long time friend, never a bushwalker, who doesn't spend a lot of time outdoors, has a had an absolute multitude of skin cancers removed.
Although we both played a fair bit of golf in our younger days. So that could be a factor I guess.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby wayno » Fri 21 May, 2021 6:05 pm

vaccines only give you immunity against specific viruses.
skin cancer isnt caused by viruses
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 21 May, 2021 10:01 pm

wayno wrote:vaccines only give you immunity against specific viruses.
skin cancer isnt caused by viruses

https://www.curemelanoma.org/patient-en ... -vaccines/
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby wayno » Sat 22 May, 2021 5:56 am

yeah viruses "cause" this and that illness and disease, but viruses dont affect everybody, and everyone waits for "vaccines." well how about this, a healthy immune system will normally kill off viruses before they cause serious health issues... but theres no focus on maintaining a healthy immune system. you need all 50 essential nutrients in adequate supply for a really healthy immune system. you need to exercise. avoid too much stress and get adequate sleep most of your life and relax when you can and try and get some fulfillment and socialisation in your life

I dont get sick very often, I used to get every illness going around the office, now usually everyone else gets sick except me. i did a lot of homework and changed my lifestyle in a lot of ways. and coincidence or not I very seldom get sick and not for very long, i can go years without an illness despite working in large ofice blocks where i have to work face to face with hundreds of people...
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 25 May, 2021 10:50 am

Just came back from the doctors, the biopsy is going to take a week to diagnose.
Nurse who wrapped my hand was not particularly experienced and she used a whole roll of 100mm crepe as well as a non stick dressing and a gauze pad; I would have just used a spot bandage, it's only the size of a 5c piece.
Surgery booked for the 4th of June when they know how big a slice to carve off.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Tortoise » Tue 25 May, 2021 11:01 am

I keep waiting for skin cancer to pop up somewhere, given my fry, burn, peel, tan approach in my youth, and the amount of time I've spent outside since then. No sign yet, in spite of my 'senior' status. Neither has a brother, who has worked outside most of his life without hat or sunscreen. Nobody in our family has had cancer of any kind, so maybe the genes are helping.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 25 May, 2021 1:23 pm

I've been told that tight jeans lead to a particular male cancer so I've been wearing baggy pants for a long time.
Tish-BOOM
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 25 May, 2021 1:30 pm

BCC taken off the back of my right ear a couple of months ago.

Simple process and very little pain.
Lots of blood!
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby icefest » Tue 25 May, 2021 9:56 pm

Moondog55 wrote: Also what is happening with a vaccine for melanoma?


We already have them.

To quote your link:
Image

These treatments only work for people with metastatic cancer (ie the cancer has spread throughout the body).
The simple answer is that we cut out a piece of cancer, and using science look if those cells have certain "antennas" on them (think of them like the spike protein on the outside of each Covid-19 virus), and if so infuse the patient with antibodies against those antennas.

Doesn't work for people who do not have metastatic cancer as the side effects are horrendous, and only a few types of melanomas have these "antennas".
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 26 May, 2021 10:08 am

No panacea then and we still need to cover up and "Slip Slop Slap"
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 26 May, 2021 11:11 am

As part of my transition to a “grumpy old man”, I’ve started wearing an Akubra while bushwalking rather then the baseball cap I’ve previously worn.

The first time I nearly drowned in sweat until I cut out the plastic liner inside.
(Cue images of Akubra aficionados tutting at me)
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby GregG » Wed 26 May, 2021 3:08 pm

Yes Moondog, I've had quite a few cut/frozen/hacked off, mostly of squamous cell type. Luckily none of these treatments were too unpleasant and I opine that we Australians are fortunately alert to skin cancers and generally have easy access to treatment, in city areas at least. Luckily none have come back. By way of comparison I had a less pleasant encounter with an adenocarcinoma which took far too long to diagnose and then required much more invasive treatment but I am still here sixteen years later to moan about it so it must have been an OK result and - I've done many thousands of kms of walks since then which I would not have missed for quids.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Biggles » Wed 26 May, 2021 3:50 pm

Since 2007 I have had 477 skin cancers removed, chiefly the more hazardous squamous cell carcinoma, but also the relatively benign basal cell carcinoma. I recently had a combo SCC/BCC lesion excised from my right shoulder — didn't feel a thing from start to finish (but then EMLA works wonders!). The Specialist said the etiology suggested it had been growing for more than 20 years (!). All out and clear!

Being immunocompromised with a 45 year old renal transplant drastically complicates matters; the meds for this raise the risk profile 6 to 10-fold baseline above the normal population cohort risk; melanoma is a major, major risk, with an even greater risk posed by the rarer Merkel cell carcinoma (low survivability). Once it starts, it is not stoppable. I did spent a lot of time out in the sun as a trans-continental bicycle tourist (1982 to 1998, touring around Australia, New Zealand, USA and South America), long before anybody mentioned anything about the risk of skin cancer — I simply had no idea; certainly it was not mentioned when I was booted out of hospital in 1977!
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Combo SCC-BCC reexcision R/ shoulder
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Biggles » Wed 26 May, 2021 3:58 pm

Moondog55 wrote:No panacea then and we still need to cover up and "Slip Slop Slap"


No panacea: prevention is the best cure!
But the message doesn't get through very well though.
You ought to see how people up here in Noosa behave! They don't give two shakes of a lamb's tail about sun protection. It is the younger "it" women who are dominant in this behaviour: a tan-at-any-cost attitude. Boaties and fisherfolk are next in line to disregard the message. Lifesavers show the way, all covered up from top to bottom with a smear of zinc across the nose for good measure. The rest of them...well, I think they are going to be in for a rude shock in coming years.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 26 May, 2021 4:14 pm

As kids we used to bake and burn all the time. We had never heard of skin cancer.
I've talked to a few specialists and while long term exposure is a risk I have been told that an extreme case of sunburn early in life is a bigger risk factor, No hope for me then as I had sunburn so bad as a 9YO that my blisters didn't fully heal for months, shoulders and behind the knees and my feet. No hospital naturally as my folks couldn't afford it back then [ 1960] and it was cool water and that old standby of Ungvita all over.
And Aspirin for the pain too.
I started to cover up and wear a hat when working in The Alice, ditto for sunglasses
Kidney replacement must beat constant dialysis
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Biggles » Thu 27 May, 2021 8:51 am

Moondog55 wrote: [...]
I started to cover up and wear a hat when working in The Alice, ditto for sunglasses
Kidney replacement must beat constant dialysis



I've worked in Alice, Tennant Creek (a place I never want to see again!) and Darwin, and all of those places are glaring hotspots for skin cancers, even among indigenous people. The rate of meta. melanoma in the North is about 3 times the national average. :shock:

The transplant I have has witnessed over 45 years a complete evolution of both haemodialysis and CAPD (continous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, which I am involved with in nursing). Either/both were very primitive and failure-prone in the 1970s, and haemodialysis wasn't able to be carried out independently overnight unlike PD.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 11:20 am

Well the doctor who was going to excise this "little" Squamous wouldn't do the surgery today; he wants me to go and have a consult with a specialist as he is of the opinion I'll need a skin graft. Sets me back at least a week for the skiing camp.
Unfortunately it's aggressive too and has double in size since last photo was taken. Wouldn't be a problem normally even with my tight skin but it's very close to the web between my thumb and first finger on my right hand and I am very right hand dominant.
I have an Egyptian eye in ink on my right hand where he traced what he thought would be the minimum excision size
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Eremophila » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 11:31 am

How long will it be before you can see the specialist? It sounds as though it shouldn't be left too long ??
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 12:08 pm

Eremophila wrote:How long will it be before you can see the specialist? It sounds as though it shouldn't be left too long ??

I'll know on Monday when I can have a consult, then the specialist will discuss day surgery. I may have to sell some more gear to pay for private costs.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Biggles » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 12:47 pm

It's a pretty awkward and troublesome place to have a skin graft, if it in fact comes to that. The web between the thumb and index finger is a high activity area and even a tiny sore will have trouble healing unless the area is immobilised; a skin graft would result in immobilisation for quite some time — not a particularly nice thought if you're right hand dominant! I had surgery on my thumb years ago, which meant I couldn't stick it up when hitch-hiking. So I stuck up my middle finger. Damned that I never got a lift... :lol:

Tim O'Brien is pretty much "The Master" down in Geelong for dealing with skin cancers.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Lamont » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 1:11 pm

Biggles wrote:Tim O'Brien is pretty much "The Master" down in Geelong for dealing with skin cancers.

Yeah, you just have be prepared to wait 6-8 months for a look-see with him :roll:.
My mate is on a permanent rolling six month cycle with him. Just keeps booking so as not to miss. The Western District lasses and lads on the land in the 1950s-1980s when they were young are his bread and butter now it seems.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby johnw » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 2:21 pm

Moondog55 wrote:
Eremophila wrote:How long will it be before you can see the specialist? It sounds as though it shouldn't be left too long ??

I'll know on Monday when I can have a consult, then the specialist will discuss day surgery. I may have to sell some more gear to pay for private costs.

I know things can vary by location and other factors, but If urgent/essential would it not qualify under the public system (if desired)?
Also worth asking the specialist if they will do a "no gap" procedure. We have just done that with the surgeon for my wife's full hip replacement, as a private patient.
So far I've been fortunate that my excisions have been able to be treated at the local skin cancer clinic under Medicare with no out of pocket costs. Obviously they can't do skin grafts though.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Eremophila » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 2:31 pm

Yes, I thought that urgent procedures would be short-listed under the public system.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 04 Jun, 2021 4:10 pm

I think it's going to be the skin graft question that might slow things down. Certainly the excision itself is a no cost surgery under Medicare at a GP or though the outpatients clinic at Geelong public hospital. Certainly I was looked after very well with the mastectomy. While aggressive I guess it's not immediately life threatening tho. Being selfish I don't want to miss out on another white season
Meanwhile I am cooking up and laying food away in portions in the freezer just in case my hand it totally immobilised for more than a week
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Lizzy » Sat 05 Jun, 2021 7:11 am

Look /ask around- I know some GP’s that specialise in skin cancer do grafts & all Medicare covered. Obviously the area may be beyond their skill level but it could be worth hunting around.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Caconym » Sat 05 Jun, 2021 7:08 pm

wayno wrote:well how about this, a healthy immune system will normally kill off viruses before they cause serious health issues...


So true. I found this one weird trick for "teaching" my immune system to recognise new viruses and kill them off before I even get sick. Hardly anyone knows about it but you can get it from your GP if you know what to ask for.
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 21 Jun, 2021 10:56 am

I'll be typing with my left hand for a few days; maybe a week.
I have instructios to avoid using my right hand for anything and to keep it elevated for 2 days minimum and preferbly as long as possible. Surgery was quick and now the hand has started to twinge as the local wears off.
POanadol neeeded

I dislike doing nothing but I can probably put up wih it for 2 or 3 dys
Check-up on Friday
Stitches removed on thr 5th of July
26 of them
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Biggles » Mon 21 Jun, 2021 1:04 pm

26 stitches! :shock:
Hope your recovery is speedy and pain is kept at a minimum.
Now is the ideal time to learn a new skill: type with your toes! :lol:
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Re: Skin cancers?

Postby Eremophila » Mon 21 Jun, 2021 1:10 pm

Ouch. That's a lot of stitches.

What's happening with the skin graft side of things MD?
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