I’m famous for my Nazi approach to sun care, to the point of being annoying. I grew up (well I won’t carbon date myself) in the days before Slip Slop Slap
. I used to protect my face, and that was pretty revolutionary at the time, but the bod was left to fend for itself pretty much; oh except when it was made rotisserie-ready with baby oil
. I shudder at the thought. I have vivid memories of sitting with my bestie on a verandah at Bilgola, peeling sheets of skin off my sunburnt shoulders.
Well, fast forward twenty years and I have my first brush with skin cancer
and yes it was on those very shoulders: it was a basil cell carcinoma (BCC). This is the most commonly diagnosed skin cancer where tumours can develop on areas of skin that receive regular sun exposure. It is slow growing and is “usually treatable”. Well thank god for that.
I rocked up to see my GP with what seemed like a small pimple on my shoulder that wouldn’t resolve itself. It turned out to be a BCC so I was referred to a plastic surgeon
who took quite a large cone of flesh out of my shoulder. Apparently the little suckers have tentacles (gross) so the section has to be big enough to capture it all. I made the fatal mistake, when the doc was out of the room, of looking at the “specimen” and I almost threw up. Not good.
But at least it’s gone. Unfortunately however, if you've had one you will probably have more. Great… something else to fret about.
Low and behold, ten years on and my second one pops up. Because of my skin history I see my fabulous derm
, Dr. Chris Kearney
every six months for a check up. This time there is a little sucker right under my bra strap. I know the pack drill but it is still a bit freaky. Chris makes the excision and then uses dissolving internal stitches and another set of external stitches that will come out in seven days. Am on antibiotics for a week just as a precaution.
Damn that sun exposure. Sadly, I’m resigned to more emerging as that’s the very unfortunate price you inevitably pay
for exposing yourself to the sun. Related content:
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