Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular

The cost of skin cancer treatment in the United States more than doubled between 2002 and 2011, and rose five times faster than treatments for other cancers, a new study found.

“The findings raise the alarm that not only is skin cancer a growing problem in the United States, but the costs for treating it are skyrocketing relative to other cancers,” said study lead author Gery Guy, of the division of cancer prevention and control at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The analysis of national data showed that the average annual number of adults treated for skin cancer increased from 3.4 million in the years 2002-06 to 4.9 million during the years 2007-11. offers the following sobering facts on skin cancer:

• Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.
• Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
• One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
• Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. This is the type of skin cancer I had. I have not experienced the other two: squamous cell or the deadly melanoma which killed more than 9,000 people in the U.S. last year and is responsible for 75% of deaths from skin cancer. This Page deals with the basal cell carcinoma variety.

Don't be fooled by this smiling face. His rays are deadly.

Don’t be fooled by this smiling face. His rays can be deadly.

I have had skin cancer surgery three times in the past two years. It appeared first on my face in 2012 and then on my face and my shoulder in 2014. In each instance the cancer was a basal cell carcinoma. I have written about a dozen posts on the subject. The links that follow aren’t everything you wanted to know about skin cancer, but a lot.

I had a lump removed from my cheek two Augusts ago. The biopsy revealed a basal cell carcinoma.

Here are the posts from 2012:

The agony and ecstasy of summer biking

Do I Have Skin Cancer?

What Did I Learn After Being Diagnosed With Skin Cancer?

What Happened During My Skin Cancer Surgery?

What About Exercise After Surgery?

Following are general information on skin cancer:

Important Facts About Skin Cancer

What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer During Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Some First Rate Tips on Preventing Skin Cancer

I went under the knife again on September 11, 2014. Here are the details:

I Have a Second Skirmish With Skin Cancer

What About Life After Skin Cancer Surgery?

Four Days Removed From Skin Cancer Surgery

Nine Days After Skin Cancer Surgery

Three Weeks After Skin Cancer Surgery

One Month After My Two Skin Cancer Surgeries

I wrote the following post in 2013 a year after my first surgery:

How Emu Oil and Coconut Oil Hid a Facial Scar

I wrote the following post in March 2015, six months after my September 2014 surgery:

How to Hide a Facial Scar – Chapter 2


11 responses to “Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular

  1. Steven Peter Yevchak, Sr.

    You might find this interesting: . If one DOES decide to take astaxanthin, make SURE you take it with food (it’s fat soluble). High-quality astaxanthin of the correct dosage (12mg @ day) is way too expensive to waste, but the all-around benefits of taking it make it worth the cost.


  2. My sister in law also had surgery for skin cancer in her early 30s. This is great information, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl

    I came to read about Aussie Bites and stayed for the skin cancer! I just read at least five other posts you wrote on the topic. I, too, had BCC. I had a spot on my nose, which the doctor removed via Mohs surgery (like yourself). The hole and the circumference could fit a pencil eraser. I’ve since had five plastic surgeries, including a weird, elephant-trunk looking skin graft to fix it. It looks way better now, and I’m cancer-free, but I’m left with a dreadful looking scar and what looks like a patch on my nose! Everyone says they don’t even notice it, but I certainly do! And I think they’re just being polite. I’ve tried everything for the scar. Expensive scar removal cream, coconut oil, BioOil – nothing works. It’s nice to see you had some luck!

    These days, I don’t leave the house without coating my face in at least SPF 15 (SPF 50 in the summertime.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you. I also got into sunblock big time. So, I was amazed to find I had two more cancers two years later! The doctor said it was a cumulative thing. Not very reassuring. Besides coconut oil, I also used cocoa butter sticks and emu oil. Maybe they will help you. The scars on my face are barely detectable after 12 and 15 stitches.


      • Grace Tan

        Hi Tony, I came across your posting on Google +

        Thank you for so much info on the topic if cancer, particularly skin cancer. I wonder if you’ve tried taking resveratrol as a form of further prevention.

        I’d just like to share this product with you and if you feel you want to try, please go ahead. It has helped many of my friends and relatives who suffered this disease. Please let me know if you’d like to find out more.

        My email add:

        Take care & God bless.


        Liked by 1 person

      • Grace – Thanks for sharing that. I had not heard about resveratrol in terms of skin cancer prevention. I know it has other health benefits.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. smithwilliamsw

    This is great information about skin cancer. Thanks for sharing the valuable information. skin cancer screening center


  5. I appreciated what you said about how more people have had skin cancer than all the other cancers combined. My mom is getting treatment for this scary disease and I wanted to look into the statistics so I can be prepared to care for her if it gets more serious than it is. Thank you for the information about how one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sherry. I was surprised at how wiped out I was after each of my operations. They seemed so superficial – just a few layers of skin – yet, it took about a week for my energy to return. I wish you luck with your mom.


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