Question from Tonya S.:
I have had skin cancer for 11 years and been through radiation and surgeries but nothing is working and the doctor that performed the surgerys said I would have to live with this the rest of my life and go through surgeries the rest of my life. But the radiation has messed my eye sight up really bad and the surgeries have really messed my face up and I have really bad headaches because one of the surgeries they did was really deep. But I would love to know how to get rid of this and not have to go through surgeries the rest of my life because I have 4 kids to take care of. The skin cancer I have is basel cell skin cancer and my face is covered in it, so what can i do?
Answer from the Doc:
Unfortunately, if you have had one skin cancer, you are at risk for others developing over time so you will need to be monitored for the rest of your life. You should definitely get into the hands of a well-qualified, excellent dermatologist if you are not already. There are some things that can prevent new cancers from developing such as the application of certain creams such as 5-fluorouracil or imiquamod or even doing treatments such as chemical peels but at least for now, the only things that help are these and avoidance of additional sun exposure by using broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of at least 15 every day. Once the “precancers” are eliminated, you need to be followed carefully because if the cancer is caught early, the treatment is easier and the surgery is smaller.
Given that you have children, it is very important that you educate them about avoiding excess sun exposure and tanning parlors and not getting sunburned so they won’t end up getting skin cancer when they get older.