June 24, 2014

June Is National Cancer Survivor Month

I am two weeks from the five year mark after having an invasive squamous cell carcinoma removed from my chest. I am certainly grateful for that fact, and there are some lessons from my experience:

  • I watched it develop for too long but ignored it, believing it couldn't happen to me
  • I have a lifetime habit of not using enough sunscreen, a fair skinned person searching for that golden tan, when the truth is that I mostly burn and peel.
  • I did, however, take note of the statistics, that having had one skin cancer, I am more at risk for a second skin cancer, and, on a regular checkup, I asked that another "growing spot on my thigh" be removed--and it was a squamous cell also.
Even though the Mohs technique was successful for me, and it was accomplished under local anesthesia, I have a clear recollection of the pulling and tugging involved that was necessary to bring the tissue together, resulting in a five inch scar across my chest.  I joke that it ended my modeling career. If there are any questions about something on your skin, see your dermatologist.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc.,
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
(661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com
5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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