February 8, 2015

NY Times Article (thank you, Garden Girl)

Excellent article shared by a fellow blogger.

An excerpt:
The specialists point to an epidemic, noting there are two million to four million skin cancers diagnosed in the United States each year, with a huge increase in basal cell carcinomas, the type Ms. Little had, which usually do not metastasize. (A small fraction of the cancers are melanomas, a far more serious condition.) But, said Dr. Cary Gross, a cancer epidemiologist at Yale University Medical School, “The real question is: Is there a true epidemic or is there an epidemic of biopsies and treatments that are not needed? I think the answer is both.”

Full article from 2014 here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/health/patients-costs-skyrocket-specialists-incomes-soar.html?_r=0

8 comments:

  1. I have just had a full thickness skin graft done to my upper lip 3 months ago. Until you go though this, people don't understand how upsetting it can be just looking at yourself in the mirror. Every time I have to brush my teeth, massage it, I end up in tears thinking "I can't believe this is part of me forever". I have avoided going out all together except for appointments. I get teary jut talking about it, so I don't want to have to explain to people in public what has happened. Thank you for your website, it's helped me immensely, even though I have a long way to go.

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    1. Thank you for writing. I can totally relate to what you're feeling, because I felt the exact same way when I saw my reflection in the mirror, probably for the first year. Finally it has faded and no longer affects my daily life in that way. Occasionally I still feel a little moment of sadness/anger seeing that scar in the mirror, and I just want my former unscarred face back. But it is fleeting, and definitely doesn't cause the deep anguish it once did. All I can offer is that it'll get easier as time goes on. I'm pleased my blog has helped you. Thanks again.

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  2. Its me back again (I commented above). Wow, you weren't kidding when you said these require patience. I can't believe how much this has impacted me mentally. It's a really horrible, out of control feeling isn't it? ike, nothing you can do but just wait and hope it all turns out. I saw my plastic surgeon yesterday who doesn't want to even consider touching this for another 6-9 months. So that will be at 1- 1.5 years. Yikes. Mine is so lumpy and has a dip. I keep coming back here to check on your pictures to remind myself they DO change, but SLOWLY! Can I ask if you ever had laser/dermabrasion to yours? I feel like I want to try and hurry the process up! Im massaging religiously 4 times a day but not seeing any changes. Im now at the 6 months mark.

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    1. Patience for sure. My plastic surgeon wouldn't make a "revision" until the scar tissue became a certain softness, which was TWO YEARS after the graft. Just a minor scar revision was done on one edge of my scar (closest to my nose). It helped some. I have NOT had any laser/dermabrasion. Keep massaging! That is what will be most helpful in softening your scar tissue.

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  3. So sorry to bother you (AGAIN!!) and thank you for always responding. I'm really grateful for your blog. I'm finding it quite hard to get information (even from the specialists here in Australia- including my plastic surgeon- plus two other surgeons for second/third opinions!). I seem to have developed hard white scar tissue under the actual graft itself, not around the borders- in the middle. Did you ever have anything like this (hard to tell in photos) and did it flatten with time/massage? I can't see any lumps in yours now, so I'm guessing your either never had any lumps or they blended? x (Bel)

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    1. I didn't have anything like that in the middle. The borders were where I had tough scar tissue, but the center stayed rather soft, and a bit crater-like. I didn't usually press the center area very much when I was massaging; just the perimeter. I've heard that there's a way to plump with fillers if there is a "crater". Most of my "lumpy borders" have flattened and softened, but up close you can definitely still see the raised circular outline where the stitches were. I wonder why it's so hard for us to get information from our medical professionals about this?

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  4. Thank you for publishing your blog and pictures. It was helpful to me today. I just turned 50, and I went to my dermatologist six weeks ago due to an "age spot" on my left cheek in exactly the same spot yours was. It seemed like it was getting darker, and people kept telling me that I had a smudge on my cheek. Like you wrote I. Your blog, I went to the dermatologist more out of vanity than fears of skin cancer. I was tired of the ugly spot. My dermatologist didn't think it was cancer when she looked at it, but she did a small biopsy to be sure. We were both surprised when it came back indicating melanoma in situ. I the. Had to have an excisional biopsy to remove all of the visible spot and to confirm that it was in situ. The pathology report said it was.

    Yesterday I had surgery by a plastic surgeon to get clean margins. He didn't do a skin graft, but I am shocked at how large the incision is and how it wraps so far around my cheek. I am in shock that this is permanent. I felt really ugly when I saw it.

    Now that I have seen your pictures and read your blog, I feel better. There is hope that this won't be so noticeable over time. Thanks for keeping your blog up, even though so much time has passed for you. It made a difference to me today.

    I hope for your continued good health.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your very similar experience. I'm pleased to hear that my blog has been helpful to you! I hope that you've seen some quick healing in the days since you wrote, and as time goes on you will see some encouraging daily/weekly improvements. If you have any questions along the way, please let me know. Thanks, and best wishes for your good health as well.

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