View Full Version : Squamous cell cancer on my face

02-02-2009, 05:50 AM
I had what I thought was a pimple on my face but it wouldn't go away and actually at my age I dont get them often. It grew fairly fast so I had it removed. They thought it was a basal cell but it came back as squamous cell and the margins aren't clean. I was shocked.

So tomorrow I see a dermatologist. I am worried because just taking out the first growth caused me a lot of facial nerve pain because it was on my temple. What can I expect next? I realize they will have to cut out more but how much. It is on my face! Also I have about 3 other areas that are suspicious and they aren't close to each other, is that bad. Any information will be appreciated. I am nervous.:confused:

02-02-2009, 06:34 AM
How long has it been there? Please let us know what your derm says.

I also am seeing a Derm tomorrow for a Squamous cell Carcinoma...I have have been reading and reading about it. Mine is genital and also related to Bowen's disease. I understand I will have a thorough skin search and CT scan tomorrow. If you want to go to my Post and read some responses it is called Bowen's Disease. Mine was a flat lavender spot, did not hurt, itch or bother me in anyway. Just noticed a discoloration.

I am 55. Melanoma and Bowen's disease are in my family. My dad and brother both had melanoma. My Dad also had Bowen's. Plus I grew up on the beach in So California so I had way too much sun until I was in my 30's. I also have an autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroid disease with thyroid nodules. Just mentioning this incase there is a connection.

Mine was on the inside of labia. Most information on that type is connected to HPV virus which I am negative for. Needless to say I have learned alot. I

They do not mention the margins in my report which really worries me. Hello? I hope the Pathologist knew what he was doing....they took a quarter sized area out.

Good luck tomorrow....Oleander

02-02-2009, 08:14 AM
I had the sore about 3 weeks. It was 6mm when I had it removed. I felt silly going to the doc's and expected it to be nothing, wrong. The report said poorly differentiated with the margins not clean. I know enough to be concerned. And although I am not a beauty queen the though of them taking a huge hunk out of my face doesn't thrill me. I work with the public after all. I am trying to stay calm and wait until I see the doc but it does keep invading your thoughts. Especially since I had wrist surgery on Wed. for something unrelated and they found a mass in my muscle they thought looked weird so they took it out and sent it to be biopsied. Well find out more tomorrow

02-02-2009, 08:45 AM
You and I have much in common. Let me know what they Doctor says tomorrow. After my biopsy my lymphnodes swelled in my groin, underarm and necks......I also started coughing so my mind ran wild.

Aquaphor ointment does wonders for scars..I used it after a serious car accident. The PS that stitched up my face told me to use it.

My appt is late afternoon

The best of luck to you....


02-02-2009, 09:27 AM
I had a melanoma not squamous cell, but I do understand that with squamous cell there can be quite a bit of skin removed - just as with melanoma. And I realize that when one's face is involved it can be quite traumatizing! (beauty queen or no!) I've talked to people who had squamous and basal cell cancers on their faces and had quite a bit of their facial skin removed - including noses - and the reconstructive surgery is simply amazing. Typically, your surgeon will work closely with a plastic surgeon to reduce scarring and/or reconstruct facial tissue. I would suggest if you have any questions or fears regarding this, to talk to your doctor. Don't be fearful of thinking your vain! This is huge for a lot of people! Yes, you are certainly concerned about your life, who isn't? But doctors are also sensitive when it comes to patient's faces.

02-02-2009, 12:03 PM
Thank you. I had heard that some insurances don't pay for plastic surgery as it is considered cosmetic. Anyone have any problems with that. I couldn't pay out of pocket if it was a large amount.

02-02-2009, 03:26 PM
I believe the old thought process was: Be thankful you're still alive - who really cares if you look like Quasimoto?? However, any more the attitude seems to be that this is not cosmetic surgery, but reconstructive surgery - there is a difference. Engaging the services of a plastic surgeon to perform facial reconstruction to alleviate disfiguring scarring or surgically restoring such an item parts of a nose, is not on the same level as a woman who wishes to have breast augmentation because, well, she wants to fill out a sweater. Every insurance is different, and you would need to check with yours, but I really doubt they would consider facial reconstruction the same as a cosmetic tummy tuck.

As an example, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago in her late 60s. She opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy. Breast reconstruction was assumed, although she could have opted out of it, had she wished to do so. So, it is now more the norm than the exception, and insurance companies have come to realize this.

02-03-2009, 01:59 PM
I just got back from the dermatologist. He read the report and it said "well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, keratoacanthoma variant. The margin that wasn't clean was at the bottom which is bad because where it is at on my temple the nerves are so close and he would have to go deeper into the fat. The problem is it can spread to my nerves and since I am having some nerve issues like pain and numbness on my cheek and some sharp occasional stabbing pain on my head it might have already spread along the nerve pathway.

So, he is sending me to a plastic surgeon to have her do the Mohr surgery. I looked it up the way it was worded and that doesn't sound to bad but obviously the spreading doesn't sound good. And since I am already off for a different surgery I am hoping it will be soon. He says as fast as it grows it hopefully will be. And maybe she will be alittle easier on the old face.

Does anyone else on the boards have anything like this? I still am having a hard time not believing this isn't just a bad dream, that I will wake up any day. In the mean time it is still in there growing away.

02-03-2009, 05:23 PM
I am so sorry. It sounds like you have a plan......I wish I could make you feel better. See my post from today. Oleander

02-08-2009, 10:59 AM
I am still waiting to see the plastic surgeon. I couldn't get in until Wed. and then it isn't for surgery, it is just to see me. I am hoping she isn't scheduled for months and I can just get this thing cut out. If she can't get me in soon I will go to the doc out of town. It is more out of pocket but he can get it out sooner.

My scar on my face seems to be growing a new area on it already and I am having some crawling sensation on my cheek and my eye keeps twitching. I feel like I need to get this out rapidly especially considering how fast it grew originally. You feel like your at the mercy of the docs and insurance company and your life is at stake.

I have been trying to just go on with life and not think about it but every weird thing in my face now makes me nervous. I can't wait until I am cancer free.

02-08-2009, 11:48 AM

You will feel better when you know it is off and margins are clear........Trying to stay positive and go about daily life is easier said than done. Alls you can do is try your best not to worry.

Hopefully they will not wait long to get this taken care of for you.

I have been using visualization to help myself relax. I imagine healing cells replacing the cancer cells.....makes me feel better.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.........Oleander

02-15-2009, 10:08 AM
I saw the plastic surgeon that will do my surgery. Of course nothing is getting done fast enough to make me happy, but at least I do have a date. For sure I will have it out on 3/3 but they have had a no show for the 24th and I may be able to take her spot. Her regular nurse who does scheduling is on vacation until Tuesday so she may be able to get me in sooner then that even and if anyone cancels I get there spot.

The doctor explained how they go about removing it. Since it is directly lateral to the corner of my eye the have to watch the nerve that would raise my eyebrow. It could be affected either by the surgery or the cancer. They will do the usual removal, take a little, look at it in the path lab, take more if necessary. She said worse case is they can't get it all and send me to a specialist in Omaha, best case she gets it right away first cut.

I asked not to be put under even though it could be a long surgery. I just had surgery 2 weeks ago and don't want to go through the anesthesia again plus I had an allergic reaction to sutures so that is good to know now, they won't use them this time.

so it boils down to I could go for surgery anytime from this monday on. She says it needs to come out fast, but that is 3 more weeks if I go to the latest date. And it has been a month since they took the first part out. And a month and a half since I first noticed it. I wonder how much more it has grown in all this time. And if it has spread would it have if I could have gotten it out right away? questions questions.

I do like the plastic surgeon though.

02-15-2009, 03:54 PM
I am wishing you the best and I know you will do very well. I am not big on anesthesia either but sometimes it is necessary.

I remember when my Dad had a melanoma removed under his eye..there were many concerns but it all came out just fine and never returned.

I wrote back to you where you responded today to my on my post. Thank you so much. I have you in my thougths and prayers.

Hopefully you can get in sooner. You go on 3/3 and I go on 3/4. The waiting is hard.

Good luck to you !!!! You are going to do great. How are you feeling? Oleander

02-18-2009, 06:54 PM
The doctor called today and they have moved the surgery up to the 24th. I will be so happy to have this over with.

02-18-2009, 07:14 PM
Hurray !!!! That is great news......only 5 days away. Oleander

02-19-2009, 06:59 AM
Yeah, I can't believe I was doing the happy dance, Yeah they are going to carve my face up soon, Yippy! LOL. But you know what I mean. Yeah, I will be cancer free in 5 days. Until the next time that is.

02-24-2009, 02:56 PM
Had the cancer removed today and the margins are all clean. What a relief.

02-25-2009, 07:37 AM
Excellent news! So glad to hear that.

02-25-2009, 10:22 PM
Hurray for YOU !!! I am traveling for work right now and almost missed your post. I am sooooooo happy for you. What else did the Doctor tell you? I go on 3/4 seems like an enternity.

Sincerely, Oleander

03-01-2009, 05:22 AM
They were able to get it with just one more cut so there wasn't much left. I haven't seen the incision yet as it is still covered with steri strips but it isn't much larger then my first one. I still have to in and get checked every 3 months and there are a couple they think I should get off then. I get the stitches out on the 5th.

03-08-2009, 08:49 AM
Well now this week I have 2 area's on my palm that concern me. The are starting just like the cancer on my face did and are about the size of a pencil eraser, They are a raised circle that is concave in the center. They don't hurt but have both popped a day apart. I don't know if I should be concerned or not, since the cancer on my face I suppose I will be paranoid about any bumps. Would they show up on the palms? I see the dermatologist in 2 months but I suppose if I call they will get me in sooner. Any thoughts out there?

Also, I have a small dent in my face where they took the cancer out but the incision looks great. She did an excellent job. Does anyone kind of worry sometimes that they didn't get it all? I suppose that is normal also.

03-08-2009, 09:32 AM
Teapotlady, Have you ever had anything like this before?

I would not worry too much but I would get in to see the Dermatologist as soon as you could just to see what it is.

If they are Squamous Cell ask them to test you for Bowen's disease. I was told that sometimes when SCC is Bowen's new ones will start popping up. I know there is a topical cream they can use on them if caught early. My father used to have to use it. I have read about it being on fingers and hands. Hopefully it is nothing.

I am sending my slides and going over to MD Anderson Cancer Center for a
2nd opinion since I DID NOT LIKE my Oncologist. They have someone there who specializes in Bowen's. They will be reading my slides this week....I will let you know when my Appt is....

Let us know what the Derm says............. Oleander

03-08-2009, 11:03 AM
Oh to bad about the doc. I hope you have better luck with the new one. No, I have never had anything like this on my palms before. Its weird. I did have surgery on that wrist in Jan. They are starting to turn a light pink looking, still don't itch or hurt and the center is starting to get a small scab. Really weird. Let us know what the doc says.

03-11-2009, 07:01 PM
Did you check with the Doctor? How do those 2 areas look on your Palm? How is your face healing....I just know you are doing great !!! Did your Derm talk to you about taking Vit D 1000 IU's a day for cancer prevention?

I have an appt at MD Anderson.....they re read my slides and have set up an appt for me. I see the Gyne Clinic and skin cancer clinic...... I go on April 3rd.
Good thing this is not a rapid moving cancer.......wait wait wait.......:D

Let me know what is going on.........Oleander

03-12-2009, 07:16 AM
I don't see the doc for a couple of months yet so am just watching the area's on my palm, they look the same, no worse. My face as a slight dimple, I always wanted a dimple, LOL. It is healing well and I am using Mederma cream on it. They didn't mention anything about the vit D but I take quite a bit with my Calcium pills.

I am glad you have an appointment. Sorry it is so far, the delays drove me nuts and yes, it is a good thing it takes so long. If the things on my palm get worse I will see about getting in sooner.

Back to work tonight, first time in 7 weeks since my wrist surgery. 12 hours night shift, wish me luck.

03-12-2009, 07:59 AM
Good luck going back to work.....see if you can get those other areas checked sooner.....Keep us posted. Oleander

09-18-2009, 02:04 AM
Teapotlady, I see by the dates this was years ago for you. How are you doing now? I too had to have surgery to remove squamish cell from my lip and have a scar going from the center of my lip down halfway to my chin. At first I worried, but now I just figure I'm cancer free and alive, my philosophy now....if you don't like what it looks like, find someone else to look at! I just alwasy worry about it coming back. I still have a big lump under the lip that I assume is the stitched on the inside muscles and such.
Just wondering how you
* email address removed by hb-mod, moderator *

09-18-2009, 06:50 AM

Make sure you get checked . I have had Squamous and Basal cell cancers. I have had more than one. I hope you are getting a full skin check regularly. The best to you. Also the Private message feature on here is a great way to reach people. Oleander

09-18-2009, 06:51 AM
This was back in February that I had the one on my face removed. The scar is barely there. I have some bumps growing on it and just saw the skin doc who is going to keep an eye on it. They don't think it is the cancer coming back there. I have 3 other places on my face that they will eventually have to remove and I get checked every 3 months. So for now I am doing well..

09-18-2009, 08:07 AM
I've not had squamous cell cancer, I had a melanoma removed 2 years ago. But people dealing with facial cancers are more common than you think, and there are fabulous advances in surgical techniques - as I'm sure you are aware.

I truly believe once you've had cancer - no matter the depth of your personal fight with it - you never feel fully "cured." There is always that niggling little thought in the back of your mind of "What if...?" I think that's natural and normal. BUT...you can't let it rule your life. But cautious and do what you can to take control through diet, exercise, regular skin checks. But you have to let go and live life.

Good luck!

09-18-2009, 08:18 PM
Teapot lady and Chele, They froze a bunch of places off my face. Said they were pre SCC keritosis. That freezing hurt like you know what. They did some on my face, chest and arm........ yikes......it made my heart pound.
The Resident there ( looked like a Teenager) told me to wipe the areas off (after the swelling went away) with Salacytic sp? acid?? Stridex pads for acne. She said it keeps the tissue thinned out. The areas look great. That was on 8/26. She told me they would remove stuff off me each time I came. I guess I have alot of these showing up. But that is okay. I am happy to catch them early. This is at the MD Anderson Melanoma Clinic so I hope they know what they are doing. LOL

Also they said my age spots are not age spots but pre skin cancers :( I have Bowen's disease so this is what happens. I will stay on top of it. Weird I am feeling really good and not letting it get to me anymore. All is good.

Nice to chat with you guys. Glad everyone is doing okay for now.