One beautiful sunny day, way back in June 1990, I went hatless at the bicentennial celebrations around Sooke Harbour. I was having a blast. The activity & cooling sea breeze distracted me from the danger. As an adult, I knew better, but… gosh, I got scorched!
By that evening, the tops of my ears were bright red & tender.
Even the top of my head, where my hair was parted, sunburned.
Time to act more like a grown-up!
I’ve been a hat kinda girl since.
That was 30 years ago! I’ve been so good for decades.
Recently, the dermatologist agreed with my concern over an odd spot on the outer ridge of my left ear. A small biopsy determined it was basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Treatable. A quick visit with a plastic surgeon removed a larger section along the ear helix, to be sure all of the cancer was taken.
This is me practicing caution & assertiveness. Awhile back, I learned the most common spot for women to get skin cancer is on the ankle (See: My Happy Daffodil Campaign – Pt. 1). Now I’m happy I paid attention to this little spot, too.
- BCC occurs most often on skin that’s suffered serious sunburns – even if those burns happened way back in childhood.
- This is the most common spot for men to get skin cancer. I guess a baseball cap might shade the face, but does diddly for protecting the ears.
Ageing has also presented me with dry, flakey skin on the back of my hands. I learned it’s from long past sun exposure, too. It’s called actinic keratoses – NOT cancer. But it is a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Who knew there were so many kinds of skin cancer?
Whenever my specialist becomes concerned about one of my spots of actinic keratoses, he zaps it with liquid nitrogen. It’s a simple treatment. I gotta like simple remedies… especially to avoid the alternative.
The other day the ear surgery results came back – I learned that for this surgery, all cancer was removed successfully.
It is lovely to ‘Live & Learn.’
5 thoughts on “Happy Daffodil Campaign – Part 2”
Very interesting. I went to a skin cancer clinic that was a scam. When my doctor took out the supposed skin cancers and got them testing nothing wrong. Just a money making scare mongering. Luckily I was okay. Did you get burnt while you were in Australia?
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Wow – Mags – I’ve never heard of any business scamming this way! AND I’m very glad to hear your own doc has tested to be sure you’re OK. Yes – I did burn a bit in Australia. I was very careful, but one sunny afternoon I was learning to sail a little catamaran… We kept pushing it too hard & would end up flipping into the water. It was great fun, but the sunblock washed off. … My back was so sunburned it blistered. 😦 I realize now, that’s an area to keep a close watch on for abnormalities.
Glad they caught it all! My sister had some on side of nose which would have made her nostril bigger if done in Victoria. She asked for a second diagnosis and referral in Vancouver. They did layer by layer and tested until all gone. So she only has small scar instead of big nostril. Worth pursuing if on face for sure.
I’ve been zapped around my lips and one cut out of shoulder. Use lip balm with zinc in it now found at Nezza Naturals on Johnson.
Love life and live it!
Thanks for the heads up Lorraine! Sharing stories is how we all help each other. It’s good to know about your sister’s experience, too! A friend in garden club has been going for treatment in Vancouver, and I was wondering why she had to leave the island. This makes sense. I’m quite OK with the chunk out of my ear, but it would be much more uncomfortable to have significant scars on my face! I’m glad you’re being vigilant & getting treated when you need it.
Great article SV