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Mom called last night. She's undergoing surgery this morning for a basal cell carcinoma that she let go for a few months.

Greetings, LWW, if your mom is correct that her skin cancer is a basal cell carcinoma, this tends to fall into the nuisance category instead of the scare category. Basal cell carcinoma is locally invasive and does not metastasize. So that means when it goes deep it can be a challenge to get it all out but it doesn't spread to anywhere else - people do not die from basal cell carcinomas but the surgery is sometimes a cosmetic compromise. Sadly, I have personal experience with this (see my past posts about the skin graft to the infratip of my nose, boo hoo!). So I am hoping that for your mom this is but a mere temporary inconvenience and that her surgical site heals cleanly and unobtrusively. Is it Mohs surgery she is undergoing? That can take awhile, as the surgeon actually process the pathology during the procedure and takes the patient back right then for further excision if the margins are not clear. I remember my own Mohs surgery on my nose in 2004 in which I had a long sojurn in the waiting room along with other patients undergoing the same surgery on the same day, in varying stages of bandaging. The plastic surgeon called me back for a further round of excision when he found a tiny dot of basal cell carcinoma still left over at the lowest point of excision. Others had theirs excised all out with the first go-round and still others needed 3 or 4 complete sessions because Mohs is supposed to be staged to spare as much healthy skin as possible because it is generally done in cosmetically sensitive or difficult areas, and it is often accompanied by a concomitant skin graft procedure right away or a few days later after the surgical bed is ready to receive the graft. That was quite an experience, all of us being the so-called walking wounded! At least the waiting room was comfy because it was plain and clear to all that there was no way it would be other than protracted. Best thoughts to your mom today.

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