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Old 03-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
JennyDrake
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Anybody use Efudex cream for skin cancer????

I'm on Week 3.5 of Efudex for squamous cell carcinoma on my nose. It's the "standard" ugly red w/ small patches of scaling or raw. Very attractive. It's on both sides of my nose, across the bridge and into the creases below each nostril.

I'm supposed to use it for 8 weeks and I'm no wimp, but I'm not sure how I'm going to tolerate escalating discomfort. I started taking 2 tylenol every 8 hours to take the edge off.

I live on a farm and need to be outdoors but if the sunlight hits the affected area it's like adding a blow torch to the acid. Applying sunscreen is like using Liquid Fire. Can anyone recommend a kinder, gentler brand? I'm using Neutrogena Dry Touch.

I have a WDW trip May 2--will I be able to tolerate the pool?

Any tips or encouragement from others who have survived are most welcome!
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:59 PM   #2
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Have you tried the sunscreens formulated for babies? They are gentle and typically free of irritating ingredients.
What about a large sunhat or visor?
You're being very proactive and that's good!
I have a dear friend who has just completed her Efudex, she used a table top fan and would set it to blow on her face, it did bring comfort especially at night while trying to sleep.
My mom passed away from Melanoma, skin cancer is a very real nightmare for me.

I wish you well and hope the treatment gets all of it and you have no recurrence.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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Tomorrow we're going to MD Anderson Melanoma center and I'll ask the doctors there about Efudex. DH had surgery for Melanoma a few weeks ago, and this is a follow-up. Fortunately, the lymph node biopsy came back clear. However, he still has a basal cell carcinoma on his nose that needs to be attended to. We're planning to ask the doctors about all future options, so Efudex will be on our list.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
Tomorrow we're going to MD Anderson Melanoma center and I'll ask the doctors there about Efudex. DH had surgery for Melanoma a few weeks ago, and this is a follow-up. Fortunately, the lymph node biopsy came back clear. However, he still has a basal cell carcinoma on his nose that needs to be attended to. We're planning to ask the doctors about all future options, so Efudex will be on our list.
Please let us know what you find out.

When my spot came up (December) it was about 1/4" x 3/8" on my nose. Both the GP and I thought basal cell. He froze it, but it did not all come off, so a surgeon did a biopsy and when the office chick called, she said "basal cell." OK, no big deal, right??

Went to dermatologist and there was some confusion w/ my appointment day/time--when I got there it was about half way through the visit before my brain fully engaged and I realized she was saying SQUAMOUS cell, which goes deeper and can be invasive. Turns out the surgeon's office must have confused me w/ someone else because they gave me the wrong results and appointment date/time.

The dermatologist offered surgery, but said I would have to go to plastic surgeon due to the location and it would need to be followed with skin grafts. She reported that she's had excellent results with aggressive freezing followed in 2 weeks by 8 weeks of Efudex, so that was the option I selected.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
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Simba's Mom.... good news about the lymph node biopsy! You must be breathing a sigh of relief. His doc may suggest the Efudex, I know of 3 different people who have used it and only one had to return for an in-office treatment after the Efudex, hers was over a large area though. She had a treatment covering nearly her entire forearms, on both arms. Ugh. I can't even imagine.

Jenny Drake.... I really hope and pray the baby sunblock works for you. That sun is the enemy, and especially while you're using this you need something.
Take care hun, keeping you and all cancer patients in my prayers... I hate cancer.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heluvsme View Post
Have you tried the sunscreens formulated for babies? They are gentle and typically free of irritating ingredients.
What about a large sunhat or visor?
You're being very proactive and that's good!
I have a dear friend who has just completed her Efudex, she used a table top fan and would set it to blow on her face, it did bring comfort especially at night while trying to sleep.
My mom passed away from Melanoma, skin cancer is a very real nightmare for me.

I wish you well and hope the treatment gets all of it and you have no recurrence.
THANK YOU so much for your input!

Yesterday I bought some Coppertone for babies to try.

Historically I've DETESTED hats, but I guess that's gonna have to change!

I also got a fan to blow on my face at night. During the day when I'm up and busy and distracted its not TOO terrible but I keep waking at night when anything touches my face (blanket, sheet, hand.)

Thank you again for your input and support.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyDrake View Post
I'm on Week 3.5 of Efudex for squamous cell carcinoma on my nose. It's the "standard" ugly red w/ small patches of scaling or raw. Very attractive. It's on both sides of my nose, across the bridge and into the creases below each nostril.

I'm supposed to use it for 8 weeks and I'm no wimp, but I'm not sure how I'm going to tolerate escalating discomfort. I started taking 2 tylenol every 8 hours to take the edge off.

I live on a farm and need to be outdoors but if the sunlight hits the affected area it's like adding a blow torch to the acid. Applying sunscreen is like using Liquid Fire. Can anyone recommend a kinder, gentler brand? I'm using Neutrogena Dry Touch.

I have a WDW trip May 2--will I be able to tolerate the pool?

Any tips or encouragement from others who have survived are most welcome!
hope you feel better soon.....
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:16 PM   #8
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Well, we just got home from MD Anderson and I did ask them about the creams. The doctor we spoke with said that it was sometimes used for pre-cancerous areas, but she was BIG on doing MOHS surgery (where each layer of skin is biopsied after it's removed) on basal cell carcinoma.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
JennyDrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba's Mom View Post
Well, we just got home from MD Anderson and I did ask them about the creams. The doctor we spoke with said that it was sometimes used for pre-cancerous areas, but she was BIG on doing MOHS surgery (where each layer of skin is biopsied after it's removed) on basal cell carcinoma.
The dermatologist surgeon did give me option of MOH, but she said due to it being on the bony part of the nose, I would have to go to a plastic surgeon and I would be looking at one surgery for removal and a second for skin grafts/repair.

As she's had excellent results (0% reoccurrence in 4 years) using aggressive freezing followed very shortly with 8 weeks of Efudex, I chose that route due to the limitations post-op from 2 surgeries. (I live on a farm and work w/ horses and big issues were no exercise or dust for 2 weeks minimum after each surgery.)

But again, mine is squamous cell and I'm sure basal has its own treatment regime.

Thanks again to everyone for the input, ideas and kind, loving support. The pain has been much better the last 3 days.
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