Basal Cell carcinoma - nose

(65 Posts)
takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 16:06:22

Hi All, don’t suppose anyone has experience of BCC on the nose? I’ve had a chat with GP who was pretty sure that’s what he was looking at and has done a 2WW referral, but has explained that whilst a BCC is a skin cancer, it’s not particularly worrying. I am a little worried about how the Mohs procedure will work on the nose. There are plenty of examples online, but it would be good to head from someone who has experience. FWIW, I’m 34, fair skinned, and have not been as careful as I should in the sun (outdoor life mostly rather than sunbathing). I have small children so I’m particularly keen to prepare them. And of course, I don’t have a diagnosis yet, but when I said to the GP, ‘but of course it could be nothing’ his reply was ‘well, I think it probably is though’. I have the option of both NHS and private, but for time reasons may well go private with this

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lljkk Mon 03-Feb-20 18:27:59

You sound quite calm & constructive (very impressive).
I can't answer but will bump for you.

LeGrandBleu Mon 03-Feb-20 18:38:40

I had a BCC removed from the side of my nose around 8 years ago . Unless I point it to you, you wouldn't see the scar. They cut from the base of the nose, behind the nostril up towards the corner of the eye.

Mine was done by a specialist dermatologist who owns a private clinic and after having seen other people and the way their BCC was dealt with, I believe I was extremely lucky.
Try to go with a plastic surgeon or someone specialising on faces. My doctor is quite famous and once a week he operates in the public system as a teacher for students.

I had a massive bandage and horrible black stitches and at first I was quite scarred . When he removed the stitches he told me to rub pure rosehip oil on the scar at least twice a day (it stains be careful) . And as I told you, only if you put your face very close to my face, and I point it to you, you can see a very thin line, not a scar at all.

Only one thing . My BCC was shaped like a star, and the point of one of the arms was the tiny bit that I had noticed, so mine was quite deep inside my face and I received more than 7 anaesthetics injections as I would feel the surgeon going deeper and deeper, but he told me he had either to close me up and finish another day under general or keep going there and then despite me feeling him. I told him to finish and it wasn't pleasant .

Where is your BCC. Tip of the nose or side? A Bcc is not dangerous, it won't metastasise so take your time to find someone . My doctor was in Barcelona, so not exactly an option for you, otherwise I would recommend him 1000000%

LeGrandBleu Mon 03-Feb-20 18:48:06

@takeyourrubbishhome forgot to add. Another recommendation was to avoid sun on scar for a year, so I walked around with a plaster on my face for a year as he recommended . He told me a sun block was not enough, and to put a couple steri strips on the scar. Maybe this also help having a thin scar as it held the skin tight? No clue, but it worked.

So to summarise. Take your time to find someone. A specialised dermatologist might be as good if great record. No sun and rose hop oil.

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 19:00:54

Thanks both. @lljkk I am strangely zen at the moment, possibly clinging on to the vague idea that maybe it’s nothing. Possibly resignation and a bit of relief that if I have to have skin cancer, BCC is probably the best one to have.

@LeGrandBleu thank you so much for sharing. Mine is in an awkward place, roughly 1/3 of the way up my nose, and slightly off centre, but very much over cartilage. So getting a clean margin might be difficult. I expect it could be quite disfiguring at least in the short term, though there are some remarkable repairs using forehead flaps. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

There is a fantastic dermatologist/skin cancer specialist in our area. He’s in the next city where he runs a pioneering NHS facility, but I should be able to access him privately. I hope! And in a random turn of events the locum GP I saw earlier is one of his old uni pals and recommended him, which was nice.

My worries are mostly vanity related. How can I go to work with a big scar? What about the school run? Silly really!

Feels a bit odd even calling it cancer tbh because if it is a BCC (which it certainly looks like, a small red spot that bleeds periodically, sometimes heals but always reoccurs) then it’s really not, at least not in the same way that most cancers go. So obviously I’m hoping it’s nothing at all, but I’ll settle for a BCC if it has to be something.

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Wolfff Mon 03-Feb-20 19:04:50

My mum and my aunt had basal carcinoma removed from their noses. The scarring is minimal and you wouldn't even notice. They were older than you when they had it but even so.

lljkk Mon 03-Feb-20 19:06:27

I suspect BCC is what my aunt had on her nose. In USA so not very good insurance & took a while to get the area patched after removal. Topic of much conversation & much tsking by the other aunts.


AnneOfCleavage Mon 03-Feb-20 19:25:32

I have had 3 different family members have a BCC and two had them on their nose (one also had a 2nd one appear a couple of years later so you need to really take care in the sun after the op as you will probably be susceptible) and one had it on their cheek.

All have had no issue with scarring per se and I wouldn't necessarily notice unless pointed out.

Hope you keep your amazing calmness during the 2WW as the result will be exactly the same as if you had worried all through it even though I know it will be hard. They are the least worrying of the cancers but great they are being so thorough. Take care OP thanks

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 19:34:35

Thanks @AnneOfCleavage - the reoccurrence is something that is worrying me a little. Precisely because I’m still so young, there may well be more of them and I will need to be vigilant

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Pleasedontdothat Mon 03-Feb-20 19:41:55

My mum had two BCCs on her nose a few years apart - both removed quickly and easily and once healed you wouldn’t know they’d ever been there. Try not to worry (easier said than done, obviously!)

Kuponut Mon 03-Feb-20 19:48:16

Stepfather had one removed from his forehead a few months ago and it's healing nicely. He'd left it months with us nagging him that it wasn't just a spot before he went to get it looked at.

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 19:48:25

Thanks @Pleasedontdothat - it seems like there are a bunch of people who just had quite simple removals and simple healing, so maybe hopefully I’ll be one of them. It’s really quite small on the surface so hopefully I’ll be lucky. Google is only showing me big operations involving skin grafts, remarkable, but pretty scary

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takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 19:49:25

Thanks @Kuponut - I’ve left this quite a long time, a good 12-18 months because I didn’t quite realise what it was. Thought that I just had a blood vessel that keeps popping

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PlanDeRaccordement Mon 03-Feb-20 19:53:43

BBC is really nothing to worry about. I have had it on my nose and tip of my ear. Both removed easily and with very faint scars. Most people get this type of skin cancer and it is so slow growing and mild it is easily take care of.

It’s not melanoma which is the worst of skin cancers and what most people think of when you say “skin cancer”.

augustusglupe Mon 03-Feb-20 20:03:24

Had a BCC removed from the area just to the side of my nose. It healed really well. I’ve been left with a tiny white scar that is barely visible.
That was 11 years ago and so far all good. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

macdhui Mon 03-Feb-20 20:07:35

I had a BCC removed from the bridge of my nose which was quite straightforward though my father had a BCC removed from the outer aspect of his L nostril which required reconstructive surgery and a skin graft.
Sounds like you’ve got a great specialist on board which is so important. A GP botched one on my chest and I now only go to a plastic surgeon or dermatologist - I’ve had 6 removed and one squamous cell carcinoma.
I had one removed from the outer corner of my eye that required 22 micro sutures - looked awful for 6m and now you can’t even tell ...blended beautifully with crows feet !
I have “body mapping” done yearly when I see my dermatologist annually.
I hope your BCC heals quickly. I take zinc and use rosehip oil for scarring.

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 20:30:15

Thank you all for sharing. I’m actually feeling a lot more ok about it at the moment. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for answers, and I’m hoping it’s not too embedded and isn’t too hard to remove. It’s still very small, maybe 2 mm across on the surface

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catmum2019 Mon 03-Feb-20 20:42:05

Please don't worry,
My mum has this and I remember doing what you done and googling images and procedures which made me ill!

Once she got refereed the surgeon said it was the skin cancer of his personnel choice- meaning if he was to be diagnosed with cancer then this was the one he wanted cos it would be over and done with in a morning procedure with no further treatment, he was so calm about it yet all I could hear was cancer.

Yet he was right! She was out that afternoon - with a massive pressure bandage - but after a few days of bruising and stitches she was on track for healing!!

The scar is tiny and nobody has ever noticed and it's been 8 years now with no further issues.

It's natural to worry I completely understand that, but one thing I promise.... after it's all done you will think...... was that it ? Geez I thought if would be a lot worse than that lol and hopefully u will be able to advise someone who is in ur shoes just now - take care op xx

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 20:58:49

Thank you @catmum2019 that’s really good to hear

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TheClitterati Mon 03-Feb-20 21:05:05

I had BCC removed from the middle of my nose/face a few eyars ago. The scar has faded loads.
I never thought it was serious or anything to worry about.

Yika Mon 03-Feb-20 21:13:05

I had a BCC on the tip of my nose removed about 5 months ago (MOHS surgery - 2 rounds, 9 stitches). It was quite unpleasant and I had a dressing across the middle of my face, with daily wound treatment, for a month. I didn't expect that. I actually ended up with about 8 hospital visits in all from pre-op via surgery, stitches, dressings and so forth. Luckily I had taken a 6-month sabbatical from work (unrelated) and was able to just lie low. I would have hated to have to face people. The scar is slowly healing but still feels somewhat numb, sore and stiff. It's noticeable to me but apparently not to others. I have to say, the doctor did a great job from a cosmetic perspective. It took until around 4 months post-op before I felt comfortable not wearing make-up to cover it though. I use factor 50 and scar cream daily and will have laser treatment to improve the scar at some point.

I have a 9 year old and sent her away the week of the op.

I know two other people who've had the same. One had a similar quite difficult healing process and has a small but still visible scar 1 year on. The other was all done and dusted after 3 weeks when the dressing came off and you literally could not see a thing even then.

I totally understand your concerns about your appearance. It's your face! It feels very exposing and scary and your facial appearance is very tied up with your sense of identity. I didn't tell anyone what it was and everyone was extremely discreet and polite - didn't pose any questions. Perhaps they thought I had had a nose job!

Of course the main thing is that it is successfully removed. Hope yours will be a simple procedure. Good luck.

takeyourrubbishhome Mon 03-Feb-20 21:30:34

Thank you for sharing! I know that this is the experience that some people have, so that’s very much on my mind. I’m sorry it’s been such a rough ride for you, I hope it improves soon. I guess if I end up with a long recovery like you I’ll probably just have to tell people what’s happening, the people I see every day at least

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AlexaAmbidextra Mon 03-Feb-20 22:19:42

A Bcc is not dangerous, it won't metastasise

That isn’t strictly true. It can metastasise but it’s very rare.

takeyourrubbishhome Tue 04-Feb-20 06:54:09

Thanks @AlexaAmbidextra, I did know this but hopefully I’ll be lucky. The biggest issue is where it is and there not being much other tissue around it (read: none)

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AlexaAmbidextra Tue 04-Feb-20 07:26:36

Didn’t mean to scare you. It is very very rare. In forty years of nursing, much of it in oncology, I saw this happen only twice. Best wishes. I hope your treatment goes well.

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