I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold I will heal thee.
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Skin pre-cancer!!

I had Actinic Keratosis on my upper lip. I noticed a sore form that just didn't go away after several weeks, which turned into more weeks and months. I made an appointment to see a dermatologist after doing some research. I am well aware of my immune suppressants putting me at a greater risk for skin cancer so I took this sore very seriously. I had a dermatologist look at it in April then we set an appointment for the first of August. Once in a while they can heal on their own, other times they turn cancerous. I wasn't willing to wait to find out.

What is Actinic Keratosis?

Scaly or crusty growths (lesions) caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, actinic keratosis (AK) is also known as solar keratoses.  They typically appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, bald scalp, lips, and the back of the hands, and are often elevated, rough in texture, and resemble warts.  Most become red, but some will be tan, pink, red, and/or flesh-toned. Untreated AKs can advance to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer, and some experts believe they are actually the earliest stage of SCC.

Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans. Approximately 65 percent of all squamous cell carcinomas arise in lesions that previously were diagnosed as actinic keratoses. In patients with a history of two or more skin cancers, 36 percent of basal cell carcinomas arise in lesions previously diagnosed as actinic keratoses.

Being fair skinned put me at a higher risk anyways and the transplant meds put me at an even higher risk. The treatment for this was NOT fun. The dermatologist took liquid nitrogen and froze the spot/sore. Being that is was on the top left side of my lip it is a sensitive area and hurt like a dirty bugger. It was quick and although it stung very badly I have gone through worse. 
Within minutes after the freezing my lip swelled and a began blistering. That is just what happens. It can take a couple of weeks for it to heal after being removed. I however am surprised that it in not super noticeable to to others. I notice it of course but other people really have to look close to see it. It may get worse over the next week and I will post pics just so you can really understand how painful and miserable this is in hopes it will convince you to wear sunscreen! I do wear sunscreen and still got this. I learned you can never use too much sunscreen.

Stay protected and cancer free everyone! :)
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Alice said...

I always get them on my hands (and sometimes chest as well). I go to dermatologist every 4 months or so then he checks out my hands and burns away! Lip must be very sore though!. Hard for me to always spot them because I also have freckles.Some are obvious but if they're just starting then you can barely see them.

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Brandy Tanner said...

Thank you for your post. I am almost 40, but I can still learn from young people! I have actinic keratosis in exactly the same spot, and had it frozen today. OUCH is right! I always wear sunscreen now.

Where to start to learn about my transplant!

Thank You for taking the time to read my blog. I am hoping that through this blog and my experiences that I can bring hope, faith and strength to all that may be living with Cystic Fibrosis, CF with Cepacia and Lung Transplant recipients. Information and blog entrees start Nov. 07. My Double Lung Transplant was on Dec. 10th 2007. Please feel free to read about my experience and ask me any questions! My email address is jamiebug77@gmail.com

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It's hard to put into words how I feel toward my Heavenly Father and the Savior. I have so many reasons to be thankful for what I have gone through & endured. Because of my trials in life I have gained a strong testimony of Faith. I have always had Faith in the Lord and in Prayer. As I faced the decision to get a double lung transplant I had to rely on faith to make the choice.....By listening to the spirit, I was guided to Pittsburgh where my life was saved. I believe prayers are answered. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of this: If I do what the Lord expects of me, he will give me what I want & need. That has always worked for me. I Believe in MIRACLES..........My life on this earth is a miracle- I prayed on my knees for years to be healed from my lung disease. I knew that through a priesthood blessing (if it was God's will) I could be healed. So many times I thought he would heal me instantly...my faith was tested as I continued to get sick and no cure was in my future. I turned to prayer....I talked to my Heavenly Father, I cried to him and he heard me and he healed me by guiding me to Pittsburgh and guiding the surgeons hands. I learned humility, and thankfulness. I realized that we need others to lean on and we are supposed to strengthen each others testimonies. I learned that the hardest things we'll do are usually the greatest blessings in our life. I was able to experience a lot of things during surgery and I know I had comforting angels in my ICU room. THe Lord knows each of us by name and he will never leave our side. We need to remember to stay close to him and have Faith that he is watching over us. I know this for a fact! I know that following the gospel will bring us true happiness- the world will tell us otherwise, but I know I am truely happy & living the gospel has brought me that. Amen