skin cancer - carac cream

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skin cancer - carac cream

by redhead621 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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Over the past several months I have been diagnosed with skin cancer, two different basal cells on my nose and one on my back. I am an active, sporty 35, redhead and freckled, but until now never knew anything about skin cancer, thought it would never happen to me. 

I've had one Mohs surgery on the left side of my nose, removed the cancer and had a skin graft to reconstruct and am scheduled for the right side of my nose on Monday. 

Thought I was almost done and ready to get back to life and then a trip to my dermatologist now shows cancer cells on my lip.  She said the surgery would be much more painful and unsightly, and she wanted me to use Carac cream on my upper and lower lips, as well as the area just under my lip.

I started once a day applying at nightime, last night was my first dose. I've seen pictures and am scared as heck to go through this process.  Not only the pain, however the appearance as well.  I work in a large corporate environment and am not looking forward to going to work looking like this. 

 I'm guessing I'll have to drink through straws for awhile.  How is is to eat?  If my lips look like the pictures I've seen, I would think that would be a tough feat.  As well as brushing my teeth.  Is it okay once they're swelled and cracked and raw to get wet while showering?

I'm looking for any info from anyone who has been through this process that could help ease my worries as well as any tips on how to make this process a little simpler and not so painful.  I'm open to any suggestions. 

Thanks!

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by freckles39 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:00 AM

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I haven't started it, but I am looking for some answers about what you can and can't do. Hope you get lots of responses, I will be following.

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by jimbo61 on Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 8/25/2007 redhead621 wrote:

Over the past several months I have been diagnosed with skin cancer, two different basal cells on my nose and one on my back. I am an active, sporty 35, redhead and freckled, but until now never knew anything about skin cancer, thought it would never happen to me. 

I've had one Mohs surgery on the left side of my nose, removed the cancer and had a skin graft to reconstruct and am scheduled for the right side of my nose on Monday. 

Thought I was almost done and ready to get back to life and then a trip to my dermatologist now shows cancer cells on my lip.  She said the surgery would be much more painful and unsightly, and she wanted me to use Carac cream on my upper and lower lips, as well as the area just under my lip.

I started once a day applying at nightime, last night was my first dose. I've seen pictures and am scared as heck to go through this process.  Not only the pain, however the appearance as well.  I work in a large corporate environment and am not looking forward to going to work looking like this. 

 I'm guessing I'll have to drink through straws for awhile.  How is is to eat?  If my lips look like the pictures I've seen, I would think that would be a tough feat.  As well as brushing my teeth.  Is it okay once they're swelled and cracked and raw to get wet while showering?

I'm looking for any info from anyone who has been through this process that could help ease my worries as well as any tips on how to make this process a little simpler and not so painful.  I'm open to any suggestions. 

Thanks!


RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by jimbo61 on Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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I am on my 14th day of Carac and about 14 more to go. I didn't think it was going to be as bad as I had seen. I could only feel the AK's on my forehead. I have had the worse reaction on my nose and cheeks. It is a miserable process but I hear that the results will be worth it. I keep telling myself that everytime I put it on. I am on a year long sabatical so I chose to do it now. I don't think that I could have functioned in a work environment how I look now. As of yesterday I stoped going to social events until I start to look normal again. I hope all is going well with you and wish you all the best. Keep a possitive attitude. It will be hard at first.

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by tripleccc on Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 8/25/2007 redhead621 wrote:

Over the past several months I have been diagnosed with skin cancer, two different basal cells on my nose and one on my back. I am an active, sporty 35, redhead and freckled, but until now never knew anything about skin cancer, thought it would never happen to me. 

I've had one Mohs surgery on the left side of my nose, removed the cancer and had a skin graft to reconstruct and am scheduled for the right side of my nose on Monday. 

Thought I was almost done and ready to get back to life and then a trip to my dermatologist now shows cancer cells on my lip.  She said the surgery would be much more painful and unsightly, and she wanted me to use Carac cream on my upper and lower lips, as well as the area just under my lip.

I started once a day applying at nightime, last night was my first dose. I've seen pictures and am scared as heck to go through this process.  Not only the pain, however the appearance as well.  I work in a large corporate environment and am not looking forward to going to work looking like this. 

 I'm guessing I'll have to drink through straws for awhile.  How is is to eat?  If my lips look like the pictures I've seen, I would think that would be a tough feat.  As well as brushing my teeth.  Is it okay once they're swelled and cracked and raw to get wet while showering?

I'm looking for any info from anyone who has been through this process that could help ease my worries as well as any tips on how to make this process a little simpler and not so painful.  I'm open to any suggestions. 

Thanks!


 

Hi Freckles - I too am a red head, freckled, fair skined woman who has just been diagnosed with pre cancer of the lips.  My Dr. has started me on Carac cream, once a day for 2 weeks.  i am scared to death of what it will look and feel like.  I have now used it for 4 nights and so far am okay.  I know the worst is yet to come.  It looks like you started it about a week earlier than me.  Any suggestions of how to manage the pain, blistering or crustiness that will happen.  How do you eat or drink and can you get your lips wet ???   would really appreciate any help you can give me.  Is there pain medication you can take.  Are you through taking it for now ?  I hope everything turns out fine for you.  Carol

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by Floridagirl on Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi, I just found this message and based on the date, I'm assuming that you completed this treatment..? How did it go for you? I am treating my face right now, but my bottom lip must have had a lot of damage on it as it absorbed the Efudex without me even applying it on that area. It is not a pleasant experience. I find that a heavy coat of Aquaphor seems to be my only comfort in that area.

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by redhead621 on Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 9/15/2007 Floridagirl wrote:

Hi, I just found this message and based on the date, I'm assuming that you completed this treatment..? How did it go for you? I am treating my face right now, but my bottom lip must have had a lot of damage on it as it absorbed the Efudex without me even applying it on that area. It is not a pleasant experience. I find that a heavy coat of Aquaphor seems to be my only comfort in that area.

Sorry, I haven't logged in for awhile.  I was on the Carac cream 2 oz once a day for three weeks and aside from a little tenderness/dryness I really had no impact.  I thought I was a lucky one having a good reaction, but obviously that wasn't so, the cream just wasn't working.  So, now my doc has upped me to Efudex cream 5 oz twice a day.  Tomorrow will be 3 weeks on Carac and 1 week on Efudex with one more week to go and I am definitely feeling it now. 

I've been keeping my lips coated with Aquaphor and that helps a little bit with the dryness, but I haven't found anything to help soothe the pain.  Aside from the lip pain and tenderness, I've also been extremely nausaus and just really tired.  I've been working through all of this, but came home early today and slept for 5 hours straight.  From what I understand, this week is the minor inflamation and week 2 is when the true inflammation is supposed to start. 

So, I will try to keep you posted, but aside from Aquaphor and Tylenol and staying out of the sun,  I don't think there's much else we can do but bide our time. 

 I just keep trying to stay positive and remember, I only have one more week of application and the healing time from there, so at least the end is near.  Better than the other alternative of having surgery to remove. 

Good luck and I will post again in a couple of days.  

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by MandiB99 on Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:00 AM

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My doc has just prescribed the carac for my lips as well. I haven't started yet. I train horses and ride in the sun a lot. I plan to do as usual this weekend, then start the treatment on Monday. During the week, I ride mostly in the late evening/after dark so I can still avoid the sun.

 The strange thing about my prescription is that he only wants me to use it for a week out of each month for 3 months. I don't even know if it will be effective that way. He's doing it to hopefully help avoid the unsightliness of the treatment, but I am kinda doubting his knowledge on how that course of treatment will work.

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by redhead621 on Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:00 AM

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Wow, I've never heard it used that way before.  Well, good luck!  I would possibly ask another doc for a second opinion.

 Well, I completed my treatment, and I have my follow up next Friday to see if the treatment worked. 

The worse part for me was the cold sores, my entire bottom lip was one huge swollen sore cold sore.  They put me on Valtrex and an antibiotic, and I felt so much better. 

 So, good luck with yours, and keep your fingers crossed for me that I won't have to do anything else!

 

RE: skin cancer - carac cream

by orlandomom on Thu Feb 25, 2010 01:16 AM

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I am about to start Carac treatment on my cheek and upper lip and my doctor gave me a Valtrex prescription. I am dreading going to work after the peeling and cracking starts. Should i start the Valtrex before starting the Carac?

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