A couple of months ago Claire mentioned to me that she thought a freckle on my right forearm looked different. As a general rule, the skin cancer organisations say that if a freckle or mole changes size, colour or teture that you should go and get it checked.
After several reminders from Claire, I booked an appointment with Doctors @ Cavill which is conveniently located across the road from my office and went and got checked out. It was the first time I’ve ever had a skin cancer check and I was pleased that after a full body assessment, none of my other freckles or moles raised an eye brow. However, the funky freckle on my arm was cause for a skin biopsy in the same appointment.
A week later I received my results and the doctor confirmed that it was a basal cell carcinoma. I had no idea what that was, but after asking the doctor about it and researching it online, basal cell carcinoma’s are the most common and least dangerous skin cancer, are typically located on the upper body and are a non-melanomo skin cancer.
Nearly as soon as the doctor had given me my results, we were walking back down to the surgery room where I had the initial skin biopsy done and was being prepared to have the carcinoma cut out. Roughly 15 minutes later, I’d had a local anesthetic and the doctor had cut a section of my right forearm out about 3cm long and a few millimetres wider than the carcinoma on each side. The specimen was placed into a jar with fluid in it to be sent to pathology and five minutes later I had three nylon stitches in my arm to pull everything back together.
I’m certainly not going to win any awards from the Cancer Council of Australia for diligently applying sun smart practices. That being said, I’m always aware of the fact that I have fair skin and don’t go and lounge around in the sun. People that know me will often hear me joke that the sun and I don’t get alone very well and this has been a stark reminder of that.
Next time I’m at the shops, I’m going on the hunt for a wide brimmed hat to wear when working outside to give my face, neck and ears a better chance of avoiding going under the knife in the future.