Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dermatological Update

I went back to the dermatologist last Thursday. This was to finish up withe my mole that had Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Before they did that I had the rest of my spots looked at. He didn’t find anything that was bad. I had him freeze off a couple of things on the side of my face. There was nothing wrong with them but I had the unfortunate habit of picking at them. I thought the smart thing was to just get rid of them.

Then it was on to the mole. They numbed up the area around where the mole was. This is the procedure he then followed:

Curettage and electrodesiccation

This treatment removes the cancer by scraping it with a curette (a long, thin instrument with a sharp looped edge on one end). The area is then treated with an electric needle (electrode) to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This process is often repeated once or twice during the same office visit. Curettage and electrodesiccation is a good treatment for superficial (confined to the top layer of skin) basal cell and squamous cell cancers. It will leave a small scar.

He said before the procedure that the electrodesiccation burns the area around the spot of the tumor. And that it produces a smell that I might not be use to. Because it is burning skin and some hair. It was a strong smell.

I almost laughed of what it reminded me of. When I was growing up you could burn your paper trash. I’d take it out to the back yard and put it in a wire trash can. I'd then light a match, start the paper on fire and watch burn it. We’d burn the hair from our dog when he was brushed. That’s exactly what the smell reminded me of. I called my dad after I was finished and told him what happened. When I told my dad about what the smell reminded me of he burst out laughing.

After they were done, they put a big bandage over the area they worked on. The whole thing took about half an hour. I got my instructions on wound care and off I went. I need to go back every six months to check to see if anything else develops. I'll probably have to do that for several years. Hopefully after that only once a year. Hopefully, with a few precautions, I won't have to worry about this again.

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