Basal Cell Carcinoma on Leg

Posted by beatrixflower @beatrixflower, Aug 3 4:06pm

Hello, I was just diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my leg. I did not know I had it until I had ongoing pain in my calf that began during covid. When I was seen by the doctor after re-opening, I told her I was worried about a blood clot but she ruled that out. She asked about a lesion on my leg that I had been told by a dermatologist 15 years ago in my 30’s that it was “absolutely nothing and didn’t need to be followed”. She sent me for a biopsy that came back as basal cell carcinoma. The dermatologist who did the biopsy said that maybe years ago it was “nothing” but it had recently changed. My main worry is that the pain in my calf is a sign that it has spread to the lymph nodes. Is there any other reason why basal cell carcinoma would cause pain if it was not being caused by spread to lymph nodes? Following the biopsy, I feel a substantial relief in the pain which makes me think it was pressing on something.

@beatrixflower, it is quite common that a marking on the skin is nothing for a period of time and then may start to change indicating cancer. I'm glad that it was sent for biopsy. According to the American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-and-squamous-cell-skin-cancer/about/what-is-basal-and-squamous-cell.html "They tend to grow slowly. It’s very rare for a basal cell cancer to spread to other parts of the body. But if it's left untreated, basal cell cancer can grow into nearby areas and invade the bone or other tissues beneath the skin."

I'd like to also bring @gingerw @lk3xs @mermaid7272 and @kathyhg into this discussion to share their experiences with basal cell carcinoma.

Beatrix, did you notice a change in the shape of the lesion before you noticed pain? Spots can sometimes be itchy or even be a sore that doesn't heal well. What type of pain are you experiencing?

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I can’t be a big help here. I felt like the mole either changed or appeared very suddenly and was elevated and rough. I took a photo and called my doctor who saw me in about a week. The mole had already changed in a week but my doctor was able to compare the photo with the way it looked when I saw her. I had it removed about a week after seeing my doctor. It did not hurt and it was not itchy. It was the sudden change that got my attention.

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@beatrixflower I'm glad you sought out a diagnosis on this. I have had everything from pre-cancer to melanoma, and you're smart to be checking for changes in sores or lesions. You know your skin the best! What was done for the basal cell carcinoma on your leg? I would ask your dermatologist their recommendation, then follow that. While basal cell rarely metasticize they do often grow slowly in place. And I am sure your medical team has advised you to watch your skin carefully, perhaps with a full-body check twice a year.
Here is a link from Mayo Clinic about types of skin cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20377605
Ginger

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I have had numerous skin cancers- basal cell, too many to count, one squamous, and one serious Melanoma many years ago. The Melanoma left major scars, one that looked like a shark bite, the rest were from skin grafts sites & removal of lymph nodes.
The facial basal cells were removed by Moh's surgeries and also left scars. The ones on my leg, the same. The ones on my leg hurt every now & then. These
skin cancers are slow growing, and usually do not metasticize. If left for too long, you will have to have more extensive skin removed, and that will leave larger scars & longer healing time.

I have also had other cancers that were serious & required long surgeries & hospital stays & have had many lasting effects on my health.
All these varied cancers are no doubt the result of an errant gene. I have only had one gene study done, and will not have others as I am quite tired of doctors and procedures, and surgeries and pain and scars!
Please do not freak out about your skin cancers– just find a good dermatologist, and have a check-up every year.

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@mermaid7272

I have had numerous skin cancers- basal cell, too many to count, one squamous, and one serious Melanoma many years ago. The Melanoma left major scars, one that looked like a shark bite, the rest were from skin grafts sites & removal of lymph nodes.
The facial basal cells were removed by Moh's surgeries and also left scars. The ones on my leg, the same. The ones on my leg hurt every now & then. These
skin cancers are slow growing, and usually do not metasticize. If left for too long, you will have to have more extensive skin removed, and that will leave larger scars & longer healing time.

I have also had other cancers that were serious & required long surgeries & hospital stays & have had many lasting effects on my health.
All these varied cancers are no doubt the result of an errant gene. I have only had one gene study done, and will not have others as I am quite tired of doctors and procedures, and surgeries and pain and scars!
Please do not freak out about your skin cancers– just find a good dermatologist, and have a check-up every year.

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@mermaid7272, interesting that the lesions on your leg hurt where the others in different locations didn't. Can you describe the type of pain?

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@colleenyoung

@mermaid7272, interesting that the lesions on your leg hurt where the others in different locations didn't. Can you describe the type of pain?

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Colleen– The basal cells on my leg hurt after they were removed, not before. Perhaps because they were on my shin- no flesh there.
I did mention it to my dr., but he was not too worried about it. The pain now is a throbbing type, only lasts a short time. None of my skin cancers ever hurt BEFORE they were removed. I have a deep scar on my nose which is quite sensitive as well as ugly, this is from the Moh's surgery.

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