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BCC or SCC on nose?

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Old 09-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #1
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BCC or SCC on nose?

My story seems very similar to others here who have had BCC on their face. A reddish brown bump on the left side of my nose that (on rare occasion) would crust a bit, bleed a tiny bit, and heal over. I've had this spot on my nose for a couple of years now. In addition to this spot (a littler smaller than an eraser) there is another brown spot slightly above the reddish/brown spot, this has not changed, crusted or bled. Over the past six months, it did bleed a bit on one occasion, although I believe I may have scratched it in my sleep. Now, there is no bump, just a reddish/brown patch that is very hard to spot. In fact, no one that's close to me thinks I need to get it checked, it's the bleeding that concerns me though, even though it's only happened a couple of times. I do have a history of eczema and some adult acne but I'm pretty sure this isn't related. It looks healed now but the color has stayed the same.

I didn't get it checked out right away because I was dealing with other more serious health issues and I didn't have insurance. Now that I have insurance, I made an appointment with a derm, although I hesitated a bit after seeing all those horrific MOHS pictures on the net, people with missing noses, horrific scars and months, even years of healing. I'm wondering if this is the worst case scenario. The thing is, I am just finishing college (at 40) and looking for work soon, the last thing I need to be dealing with right now.

For those who have had MOHS on their face, how has it turned out for you in terms of scaring? Of course, I am concerned that I'm going to be one of those people who has to have half his nose removed. I'd almost rather let it go if that's the case. Since I have Medicaid through the state of Minnesota, I'm not sure what it will cover. Would I most likely need a plastic surgeon? I'm pretty sure it covers MOHS, but probably not anything additional. Thanks so much for listening.


Last edited by mszach; 09-09-2011 at 09:12 PM.

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Old 09-10-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: BCC or SCC on nose?

Get it checked ASAP. I had 2 on my face, one above my left eyebrow and another that just looked like a dry patch of skin on my forehead at the hairline. Both turned out to be cancerous and yes, I had the MOH's surgery. I was lucky and they got it first layer but yes, I had a scar across my forehead for a few months but nothing devistating to look at. Like you I think if I looked on the net I probably would have totally freaked out but glad I saw nothing till I had it done.

Being a female I just made sure my hair had bangs on top so it covered it very well till it was totally healed. That was a year ago and you can barely see the scare as it blended in with my "frown" lines as the Dr. calls it.

A friend of mine had it on his nose and let it go way too long and he did have more work done then me but he still looks just fine. Just make sure you research any Dr. who does that type of surgery and make sure they are very qualified to do it.

My best of wishes and good luck...JJ...
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: BCC or SCC on nose?

Be very grateful you are getting it checked. My first BCC was on my lower right leg in 1996. My second BCC was five years ago near my right temple and scar ended up being near the hairline. My third BCC was on the left side of my nose. I saw my GP in April and he froze the spot. It returned rapidly and the Dr. sent me to dermatology.

I had a biopsy done, BCC was confirmed and a Moh's procedure scheduled. I too saw the stories and pictures on the Internet and so I mentally prepared for the worst. On 9/8/2011 I went in at 8 a.m. to begin the Moh's. First layer taken, I waited. They lifted the gauze and I took a picture with my cell phone. First layer wasn't a small area. Didn't get it all so had to enlarge and take layer two. Again I snapped a picture and had a hard time looking at it. Luckily, the second layer got it all. I moved to the procedure room where my dermatologist, a trained Moh's physician, was able to bring the skin together and stitch. It created a diagonal seam down my nose using 9 stitches. They will come out next Tues. The skin on the nose is very taught, so first day was rather uncomfortable, but better yesterday and much better today. Still sore, but no longer painful.

Stitches will be removed in 7 days so my appointment is next Thurs. 9/15. I have no idea what the scar will look like. I am currently unemployed and looking for work so job interviews are a concern. A little makeup and I am hoping to have then concentrating on my mind, not my nose. Men use camouflage too, so a little powder or foundation over the scar will work for you if necessary.

I asked the Dermatologist a "what if" question and it was what if I just ignored it. He said it would continue to grow both in depth and width and could eventually take over all tissue of the nose, resulting in major reconstructive surgery. Better to catch it now and live with a scar than to let it go and have to rebuild a nose.

I took pictures after first layer, second layer, stitches, and the next day. Some swelling, but for me little bruising. I consider myself lucky.

Old 09-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: BCC or SCC on nose?

Thanks JJ, if I had the bangs I did back in the 80's I could just cover my whole face and not have to worry about it! lol Times have changed though, not only are long bangs out for guys but I don't have the hair I did back then, wish I did!

Teach4aday, I assume you are a teacher? Yes, that would be tough because you have a classroom full of people looking at you! Either way, looking for a job with a huge scar is no fun. I am also trying to prepare myself for the worst, I'm not vain like I was in my younger days, but I don't want to end up disfigured either. Being single and jobless, that is a major concern!

I should not get ahead of myself as I don't know that this is cancer. No matter what it looks like in a month, I will still keep the appointment, even if it goes away completely. Fortunately, I haven't had any bleeding real recently and it is very difficult to spot, there is no bump, just a slight reddish/brown spot. I know someone that had something very similar that turned out to be nothing so I am hoping for the best, but trying to prepare myself for the worst. Not an easy thing to do.

Just curious, or concerned rather, can Melanoma present like this? This looks nothing like the photos I've seen on the net of (even) mild melanoma. What has me thinking it's BCC is because I could identify with some of the photos. One poor lady had to have the entire tip of her nose removed, she has a video on *******, I should have never watched it, it looked horrific. After many surgeries she looks great now, but she must have suffered a lot.

Last edited by mszach; 09-10-2011 at 08:53 PM.

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