I have basal cell carcinoma on the tip of my nose. I am getting married in 3 months, can I wait until after my wedding?

My doctor says that I won't have scarring by the time of my wedding but I am concerned about this. There is really no way to know how deep the hole will be until they go in for the surgery. I've had this spot on my nose for about 3 or 4 months, it is very small, and I don't believe it is growing fast. My diagnosis is as follows: Basal cell carcinoma, superficial and nodular patterns, extending to the base and peripheral aspect of the specimen. The size of my biopsy was .3 x .3 x .1 cm.

Doctor Answers 2

Can I wait 3 months for Mohs surgery

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Basal cells normally grow at a slower rate than other cancers. Based on your pathology listed, I would say you are fine to wait until after your wedding. I've had people wait 6 months to do a Mohs due to traveling and other circumstances, and it didn't inhibit the procedure. This is about the maximum I'd ever allow though. Do make sure that you get in for the Mohs as quickly as you can after your wedding. Don't let time slip away and say "I'll do it after the holidays, etc." It would be better to actually set your date now so you have it scheduled and do it as soon as you can. While the cancer may be growing slowly, things can change, so get it booked.

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MOHS surgery Results

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Honestly, it's not great to wait to have surgery, as the "fingers" of the cancer can spread deeper and then cause the cancer to be larger when you need it removed later.  You can, but I would not suggest it.  The tip of the nose is a very cosmetically sensitive location and the smaller the initial cancer/lesion the better for removal.  As for your pathology, I have in some cases tried topical immunotherapy or laser treatments for patients who are worried about cosmetics and have been successful. This is not the guideline standard, but these cases were individualized.  I think it may be good for you to try something alternative.  If the cancer turns out to be larger and multiple stages, you may need a flap or graft for reconstruction and there will be scar.  How big a scar depends on your healing and if you are willing to follow up with laser or dermabrasion.  I would suggest seeing someone for a second opinion who does alternative treatments and not only offers MOHS surgery with reconstruction but also cosmetic laser and medical oncological treatments.  We do these types of alternatives daily.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

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