Could my skin cancer be back?

Posted by Becky32087 @nanax10, Jul 25, 2022

I had skin cancer removed from my nose several years ago (do not remember what kind) now my nose hurts to the touch, no redness or sores. Could skin cancer be back?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Skin Health Support Group.

Hi @nanax10 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. While the members on Connect can't offer medical advice, they can offer testimony of what they have gone through and experienced.

You'll notice that I modified the title just so other members get an idea of what your post is about.

You might like to read the following:
What Patients Need To Know About Skin Cancer Recurrence:
https://www.mohssurgery.org/blog/skin-cancer/what-patients-need-to-know-about-skin-cancer-recurrence/
How Do You Treat Skin Cancer on the Nose?:
https://www.verywellhealth.com/skin-cancer-on-the-nose-5095584
Have you made an appointment with your dermatologist yet?

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@nanax10 Let me add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, also!

I hope you make an appointment to see your dermatologist, soon. Many times we develop a sensitivity to the environment after skin cancer surgery. Using sunscreen consistently goes a long way to help this, but it is also recommended we have a whole body skin check twice a year. I have had everything from basal cell carcinoma, to squamous cell, to malignant melanoma.

Also, using a mild cleanser for your face, and not scrubbing, may help you. Will you let me know how soon you are able to get in to see your dermatologist?
Ginger

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How timely this post is for me. In late April this year I noticed a "place" on my left forearm that caught my attention. I have lichen planus so I thought that's what it was. It aggressively became larger and more noticeable. When it was about 2 weeks in developing I was able to get to my dermatologist the same day. Good fortune, I thought. He looked at it and said "cancer does not develop that quickly. Let's give it a month to see what it does." After only two weeks I came back to let him know that this is something that does need attention. I had already had four squamous cancers–one place had to have plastic surgery. This visit convinced him to do a biopsy. It came back squamous. I had open wound surgery rather than Mohs because the doctor said insurance would not pay for Mohs because of where it was located. I even asked how much it would be to pay out of pocket because I just wanted the best type of surgery. I let him convenience me that the open wound surgery would be a good way to go. I did daily wound cleaning and bandage changes for 2 1/2 months. Follow up visits revealed the wound was healing well, "looks great." After the last wound check a nodule came up rather suddenly and the perimeters of the wound became harder and light colored. I went back to the derm and the nurse practitioner said she did not like the look of it and the cancer may be returning. She said lets give it two weeks and watch it. After two weeks it was worse. She took a picture and said she would check with the doc to see if it should be biopsied. I told her I wanted the doc to come look himself and he did. It was decided to biopsy and ask for STAT pathology as he agreed it appears to be cancer again. Now we wait for pathology with averages 12 days for a report and then appt with a Mohs surgeon. The first surgeon is the only one who said that lichen planus can turn into cancer "only if active LP." I hope this experience is helpful to others.

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@fdixon63

How timely this post is for me. In late April this year I noticed a "place" on my left forearm that caught my attention. I have lichen planus so I thought that's what it was. It aggressively became larger and more noticeable. When it was about 2 weeks in developing I was able to get to my dermatologist the same day. Good fortune, I thought. He looked at it and said "cancer does not develop that quickly. Let's give it a month to see what it does." After only two weeks I came back to let him know that this is something that does need attention. I had already had four squamous cancers–one place had to have plastic surgery. This visit convinced him to do a biopsy. It came back squamous. I had open wound surgery rather than Mohs because the doctor said insurance would not pay for Mohs because of where it was located. I even asked how much it would be to pay out of pocket because I just wanted the best type of surgery. I let him convenience me that the open wound surgery would be a good way to go. I did daily wound cleaning and bandage changes for 2 1/2 months. Follow up visits revealed the wound was healing well, "looks great." After the last wound check a nodule came up rather suddenly and the perimeters of the wound became harder and light colored. I went back to the derm and the nurse practitioner said she did not like the look of it and the cancer may be returning. She said lets give it two weeks and watch it. After two weeks it was worse. She took a picture and said she would check with the doc to see if it should be biopsied. I told her I wanted the doc to come look himself and he did. It was decided to biopsy and ask for STAT pathology as he agreed it appears to be cancer again. Now we wait for pathology with averages 12 days for a report and then appt with a Mohs surgeon. The first surgeon is the only one who said that lichen planus can turn into cancer "only if active LP." I hope this experience is helpful to others.

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@fdixon63 Good for you for being watchful and going for treatment. You prove once again, how we as patients need to be our own advocate in health care! In 2008 I finally convinced a dermatologist to biopsy an area that three others said was nothing. It was amelanotic [non-pigmented] malignant melanoma!

Please let me know what the biopsy report says, will you?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@fdixon63 Good for you for being watchful and going for treatment. You prove once again, how we as patients need to be our own advocate in health care! In 2008 I finally convinced a dermatologist to biopsy an area that three others said was nothing. It was amelanotic [non-pigmented] malignant melanoma!

Please let me know what the biopsy report says, will you?
Ginger

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Hope you made a complete recovery. What treatment were you given? I'll post my biopsy results. Take good care. Faye

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@fdixon63

Hope you made a complete recovery. What treatment were you given? I'll post my biopsy results. Take good care. Faye

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We did a flap surgery on right forearm, that took 32 stitches! I have had squamous cell carcinomas removed since then [left eyebrow and center of forehead] plus a nodular basal cell all by MOHS.
Ginger

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