Category Archives: Skin cancer surgery

What You Need to Know for May – National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Makes sense. We should be coming into some sunny days right now. (Unless you live in Chicago as I do where we still have March temps).

In order to get through the coming sunny days herewith a list of links of all the items I have filed on skin cancer and sunburn since the blog began in 2010. This includes my own bout with skin cancer in 2012.

Looking at your face in the mirror, things that change in size, shape or color can be skin cancer.

Remember the words my dermatologist told me, “There’s no such thing as a healthy tan.”

Blazing+Hot+Sun

Myths and facts about sunburn and sunscreen

Vitamin D and Your Body – Harvard

How to protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer

Do I have skin cancer?

What did I learn after being diagnosed with skin cancer?

What happened during…

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Skin Cancer Awareness Month – May

Consider this a ‘don’t let this happen to you’ post. As a skin cancer sufferer, I wanted to share this information with you.

I have had three basal cell carcinomas surgically removed in the past few years. You can read the details on my Page Skin Cancer Facts and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular. My dermatologist told me, “There is no such thing as a healthy tan.”

Truth about Tanning.jpg

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how_to_spot_skin_cancer_infographic1

Tony

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Minimizing Summer Skin Problems with Ayurveda

Having suffered three skin cancers, I feel strongly about anything that might help. Here are some wise words that go far beyond SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunblock.

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To read further on summer heat and sun problems check out my two Pages:

What to do about extreme heat

Skin cancer facts in general and my three skin cancer surgeries in particular

Tony

STAYING HEALTHY WITH AYURVEDA

By this point, everyone knows that the sun can cause severe damage to the skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, one of the main organs of purification. It acts as an insulator, regulates body temperature, and protects us from the harmful radiations of the sun. During the long days of summer, when exposure to the sun is at its peak, the risk of damage to our skin increases multifold.

Over-exposure to sun can allow extreme ultraviolet (UV) rays to penetrate through the layers of our skin, harming the DNA of our cells. From the perspective of Ayurveda, the intensity of the sun’s heat during the summer also aggravates Pitta dosha.

According to Ayurveda, most skin problems are associated with an imbalance of Pitta dosha, which governs metabolism, heat and digestion. Pitta has five subdivisions or “subdoshas”, and one of them, Bhranjaka Pitta, resides in the skin. Its…

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Consider this a ‘don’t let this happen to you’ post. As a skin cancer sufferer, I wanted to share this information with you.

I have had three basal cell carcinomas surgically removed in the past few years. You can read the details on my Page Skin Cancer Facts and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular. My dermatologist told me, “There is no such thing as a healthy tan.”

 

 

Truth about Tanning.jpg

b0425149-9e1d-4ab8-9c57-f573754bcbae

how_to_spot_skin_cancer_infographic1

Tony

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How to Hide/Heal a Facial Scar – Chapter 2

Actually, this isn’t really chapter two, but it is the second blog post on hiding and healing a facial scar. I wrote the first one in August of 2013. You can read the post How Emu Oil and Coconut Oil Hid a Facial Scar. I wrote it a year after the Mohs surgery I had in 2012 and showed the result.

Now comes chapter two. Back in September of 2014 I went under the knife again as I had managed to accumulate two basal cell carcinomas. The first was on the other side of my face, symmetry anyone? The second on my back. As occurred the first time, I had about 15 stitches on my face and a scar extending longer than an inch. You can see it on the illustration below. In the interest of brevity, I am not going to do the scar on my back. This way we are comparing apples to apples.

That was six months ago. As I did before, I applied emu oil and coconut oil to the scar as soon as the bandages came off. Additionally, this year I began wet shaving with a double edge razor rather than the electric I had used for the past decades. I mention that because once I was allowed to shave again (about two weeks after the operation), I found that I nicked myself on the scar several times. That probably didn’t help the healing process much. On the other hand, I would use aloe vera on my face after shaving along with the emu oil and coconut oil. So, perhaps I had extra regenerative work going on.

What is the result? You can see for yourself below. The first photo was taken as soon as the bandages came off, about a week after the surgery.

I had to keep the dressing on for over a week, so this is the first time I could see it after the operation in September 2014.

I had to keep the dressing on for over a week, so this is the first time I could see it after the operation in September 2014.

Below is the second photo which my girlfriend shot this afternoon.

By my reckoning, this is an impressive healing over the course of six months

By my reckoning, this is an impressive healing over the course of six months.

I am very impressed with this healing. Remember, I am not a kid. I turned 75 in January of this year. So, I don’t heal like a youngster.

I would be interested in hearing about any similar experience that you might have had.

Tony

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How Do You Get Healthier Skin? – Infographic

The most interesting aspect of this infographic about healthier skin is that everything on it is just plain good for you. I don’t know a lot of people that combine nutrition and their skin.

I have had three operations to remove skin cancer from my body, but have never considered my diet as contributing to that. It was just sun exposure.

Maybe that’s a girl thing. I am an old guy, so understandably out of it, if that is the case. In any event, whether you have ever thought about what you were eating might or might not be good for your skin, trust me, everything on this post is good for you.

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Three Weeks After Skin Cancer Surgery

I went back to the doctor this week to have the stitches removed from my back. That pretty much brought my third surgery to closure (pun intended).

To summarize, this go ’round with skin cancer was much stronger than my previous one, two years ago. In each instance I had a basal cell carcinoma removed. Two years ago, I had one growth cut out and ended up with about 15 stitches in my cheek. This time I had one removed from my cheek and another from my back. I had 15 stitches in my cheek again, but more than double that in my back. The facial scar is about 1.5 inches long while the one on my back extends to three inches. So, there was more cutting this time and as a result my body had a lot more healing to do.

Blazing+Hot+Sun

Two years ago I was riding my bike within five days of the surgery. In contrast, this year, I did not have the energy to ride for two full weeks. Then, when I returned to riding, I felt a lack of power in my legs which tired easily.

This year, I napped nearly every day for the first two weeks. Good naps that extended an hour and sometimes two. Clearly my body craved downtime.

In my third week, I have commenced riding again, but can feel limited by my condition. I am taking it slow. I rode around seven miles the first day and went up to 10 on the second. At the end of the third week I managed 20 miles today, but it was in two rides. I don’t think I could have done it in one bite. The good news is that I didn’t feel the urge to nap today. Last, but not least, I added one and a half pounds in the past three weeks with my sedentary recovery. I have no worries about burning that off going forward.

I feel that my life is coming back into its own now in terms of energy, if on a slow pace.

Since my first surgery I have been amazed at how many people I know have suffered from skin cancer in one form or another. If you would like to learn more about this important subject, I just put together a Page recounting my surgeries as well as general facts about it. Check out Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular.

Remember, as my dermatologist said, “There is no such thing as a healthy tan.”

Tony

 

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Nine Days After Skin Cancer Surgery: Update

This is meant to be just a brief updater. I am in my second week following Mohs skin cancer surgery. Regarding  exercise, I still haven’t ridden my bike or done anything outside of brief walks that would be described as exertion. This is just following doctor orders, also I have very low energy.

Yesterday was the first day since the surgery that I did not take a one to two hour nap in mid-afternoon.

While I have been careful about eating, I have not been crazy scrutinizing every calorie in fear of gaining weight since I am not riding 20 miles a day on my bike as I usually do. In view of that, I am surprised that I have not gained a pound. Most pleasant surprise.

I thought it might be interesting to compare two pictures of the incision on my face. The first was taken two days after the surgery and was the first time the wound was exposed since the nurse bandaged it after the operation. The second was taken this morning. For the record, these stitches are the kind that dissolve over time, so they will not have to be removed. My apologies to the squeamish for these photos. I share your squeam.

Two days after surgery

Two days after surgery

Here is the one from this morning:

This morning ...

This morning, 10 days after surgery.

I have put nothing on this wound except Vaseline to protect it. This morning is my first day to leave it uncovered without the big rectangular bandage. I started to use Emu oil and coconut oil on it today. Will post a picture a year from now to show how well it healed.
Note: I posted on March 26, 2015. Click the link to read it.

If interested in the details on this surgery, check out my posts What Happened During My Skin Cancer Surgery, What About Life After Skin Cancer Surgery? and I Have a Second Skirmish With Skin Cancer.

To complete what I had thought was going to be a very brief post I want to let you know that I had similar surgery on my face in August 2012. I blogged about how well the facial scar healed in How Emu Oil and Coconut Oil Hid a Facial Scar in August 2013.

Tony

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Four Days Removed From Skin Cancer Surgery

I am now in the latter part of my first week following Mohs skin cancer surgery on my face and my shoulder to remove a pair of basal cell carcinomas. I have included links at the end for those of you who might want details of the operations.

My energy is returning slowly, but I am still following the doctor’s instructions to take it easy. I have not ridden my bike since the surgery. The doctor has also prescribed an antibiotic for me to take to fight possible infection in the incisions.

Each day following the surgery I have napped from one to two hours and then gotten a full night’s sleep, so I conclude from that my body is mending itself full time.

My girlfriend has been great about changing my bandages and putting fresh Vaseline on the cuts to protect them from infection.

I am including in this post some unpleasant photos of my incisions, but I thought they might be helpful for anyone who may be going in for surgery or simply wants more details on skin cancer.

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The first is a shot of the incision on my face. It measures about 1-1/2 inches. We shot this about 48 hours after the surgery. I wanted to keep it sealed up in the hospital’s original dressing until we had to change it. There were 15 stitches.

The second photo is my shoulder. It measures three inches long and was also taken 48 hours after the operation.

photo 2
Since I had similar surgery on my face two years ago August, I know how these scars can heal. Last year I did a post with photos of the scar a year later. I used Emu oil and coconut oil on the scar regularly to help heal it. You can judge for yourself how well they worked. The post is How Emu Oil and Coconut Oil Hid a Facial Scar.

Here are the links for my earlier posts on this surgery: I Have a Second Skirmish with Skin Cancer, What About Life After Skin Cancer Surgery?

Back in 2012, I did a series of posts on skin cancer which you can find by typing  the words skin cancer into the SEARCH box at the right.

Tony

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Filed under cancer, Mohs surgery, skin cancer, Skin cancer surgery