Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again

A superficial basal cell carcinoma is probably the most harmless cancer there is, insofar as the phrase 'harmless cancer' is not an oxymoron, but having had one on my left temple diagnosed a couple of weeks ago (on my birthday: bummer), I was pleased to be reminded by Larvatus Prodeo regular Robert Merkel of this deathless line from The Silence of the Lambs the day before I was due to begin a course of this stuff.

Cancer isn't exactly my area of expertise but this is the first time I've ever heard of any form of it being treatable with a cream, by the patient, at home, and without a scalpel. Let's hope for everyone's sake that this is the beginning of a trend.

9 comments:

ocky said...

I like the bit on the Imiquimod website about being 'reasonably effective'. Still, it sure beats the knife. Best of luck.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Thanks, Ocky. The dermatologist says current figures show an 80% success rate. Worst case scenario (unless of course it sends my whole immune system berserk) is back to the plastic surgeon's drawing board.

Actually the dermatologist did say cautiously 'You might have some flu-ey symptoms.' Can't wait for that one.

ocky said...

Oh, like "You might feel some slight discomfort" and other medical understatements?

Mary Bennet said...

Good luck Pav. My bloke used this on a thing on his forehead. The fluey symptoms were really very minor but he was quite bothered by the level of inflammation on the site. This led to very nasty scab for several weeks that he thought strangers were staring at. He wasn't allowed to cover it with a bandaid or anything. But it is completely gone now without surgery. Hooray.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Mary, yes -- the paradox of this stuff is that the worse it looks and feels, the more likely it is to work. Strangers probably were staring at your bloke and his forehead, if it looked even half as bad as the photos on my information sheet. I had a strategic session with my hairdresser before I started on this stuff; thank God I've got a fringe. Glad to hear the success story, though. Hooray is correct.

Peter said...

A couple of friends at work used it - very spectacular, but it worked.
My GP just whips out the liquid nitrogen ...

Pavlov's Cat said...

Peter, the liquid nitrogen works great on solar keratoses (AKA 'sunspots') -- I've had a few of those slushed. But if it's an actual skin cancer, it'll just come back. If you think a spot might be cancerous you should ask for a referral to a dermatologist.

Peter said...

Ah, yes. That would be why he has removed pieces of nose, ear and back from time to time over the years. He seems to know what he is doing - gets plenty of experience here in Queensland.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.

Ow.