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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2011 :  00:26:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was told to use Efudex by my dermatologist for 14 to 21 days on my face and stopped after 18 days when it began to interfere with sleeping and I was bleeding onto the pillow. The dermatologist recommended Sigmacort (1% cortisone cream) afterwards and I have also been using Dermaveen moisturiser (their other products are good too). Sigmacort seems to have the most ulcer reducing effect and Dermaveen to be more effective against discomfort. It has been a week since I stopped and the swelling and redness are down by about half. The obvious solar keratoses have certainly gone and I had about 50 other red patches as well. Much better and cheaper than surgery but Efudex does make you feel pretty ugly and uncomfortable for a few weeks.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2011 :  07:24:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Longdrop,
Like yourself I have just finished the Efudex treatment and still look a bit of a wreck - face looking like a part cooked hamburger garnished with fish scales.I managed to stick it out for 21 days but the last 5 days was a real mission. Today is 1 week after the cessation of the treatment and is the first time that I have felt relatively at ease going outside without cowering under a big floppy hat. In retrospect I don't think that I could go through the Efudex treatment cycle again - the last part was absolute hell - as you say I couldn't sleep with the discomfort, I was bleeding and my face looked dreadful. However, having said that I don't know what the alternaive treatment is like. Any ideas?
Best wishes,
Uncle Paul
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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2011 :  01:05:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Uncle Paul. You did well to last three full weeks! I am now about two weeks since I stopped and still cower under my latest and newest hat! The skin has subsided beautifully though and the pain and tightness is all gone.

The alternative treatments I have tried have been cryotherapy and surgery. The former was relatively painless and worked on about half the cancers. Surgery always worked well but is disfiguring, occasionally painful and invariably expensive. The last session with an infiltrative BCC on my shin which I had left too long involved a skin graft, thousands of dollars and 10 days off work with my leg in the air watching Oprah. Not recommended. All the best.
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thanks01

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2011 :  17:24:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
People! Stories like Longdrop's above are the reason why we have this forum. We have not yet found one, single, definitive approach, but there are many useful attempts and contributions here. We have to remember that BCC and squamous cell cancer can deeply affect people's health and lives and pocketbooks. I really think this forum can contribute to finding reasonable, inexpensive solutions that will not cause suffering. I encourage all to keep contributing, so that these stories of suffering will cease. And, to Longdrop, all the best!
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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2011 :  20:43:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I'm a wimp. I'm only on day 3 of a 2 week efudex treatment and the itching is driving me crazy. I'm just doing my forehead and it's almost all covered in red, raised spots. Is this normal to react this way after only 3 days?
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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2011 :  07:06:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just wanted to say I am afraid to do this. I thought I only had 3 or 4 spots but it's my whole forehead. It seems like it's all blistered after 3 days. Do you think I may have used too much efudex? Also, do I dare stop? I just put my 86 year old father in the hospital and my mother had 2 strokes - all in a 2 week span so I'm under a lot of stress and I wonder if adding efudex treatment is just too much for me right now. I just want to cry.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2011 :  08:16:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sparkih,
Courage my friend - a week ago I finished 21-days of Efudix - as I said to Longdrop the last 5-days was absolute purgatory. The only reason that I hung in was because on the web I saw some dudes who looked worse that I did- well, just a bit worse! Today I have a few skin flakes left but otherwise I look better than I did about 10-years ago! So grit your teeth and pray for day 21 - it does get better very quickly.
Cheers,
Uncle Paul
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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2011 :  08:35:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by uncle paul

Hi Sparkih,
Courage my friend - a week ago I finished 21-days of Efudix - as I said to Longdrop the last 5-days was absolute purgatory. The only reason that I hung in was because on the web I saw some dudes who looked worse that I did- well, just a bit worse! Today I have a few skin flakes left but otherwise I look better than I did about 10-years ago! So grit your teeth and pray for day 21 - it does get better very quickly.
Cheers,
Uncle Paul

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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2011 :  08:40:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Uncle Paul. I will hang in there. Is it typical for my forehead to be all blisters after only 3 days. Or at least it feels like one big mass of red blisters.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2011 :  10:48:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sparkhi,

I'm afraid to say it has got to get worse before it gets better. As I said to Longdrop my face looked like a raw Hamburger and later on it looked worse becaued of the flaking skin. However, recovery is pretty quick once you stop. The day after I stopped I used a homeopathic ointment called "Traumeel" (German) it is supposedly for sports injuries. It was recommended by my pharmacist, who also had to take a course of Efudix himself, he said that it worked well for him. This dude actually endured 6-weeks of Efudix - my absolute max was 21-days. FYI day 15 was the worst for me, at that point I thought that I would be scarred for life. However, once all the bits fall off you emerge with a face looking very smooth and fresh. I had a haircut yesterday and, as I said before, I looked 10-years younger this morning. Give me a shout when and if you think you have reached the limit. Good luck!

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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  03:12:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sparkih

Thanks Uncle Paul. I will hang in there. Is it typical for my forehead to be all blisters after only 3 days. Or at least it feels like one big mass of red blisters.



Hi Sparkih and Uncle Paul. Sorry to say I agree with Uncle Paul. You got to keep doing it. Never miss a treatment, keep going as long as you can, try to avoid covering it with makeup, avoid the sun, and appreciate it will get worse and worse. I found the worst bit was the day after I stopped - I loved the moisturiser then. Now three weeks after stopping I just look as if I have German Measles and the skin is wonderfully soft and itch free, the spots fading by the day. Make sure you do the whole face though with the thinnest of films, you will be surprised what pops up and where. My forehead was covered in the little beasties (OK so I have a large forehead!).

All the best and remember the better you do it now the less likely you have to do it again. And congrats whoever started this site, I wish I had found it sooner, and thanks for everyone's inpur. There is something especially horrible about being prescribed a cream which makes you uglier by the day!

And yes my spots started to come out on day 2!
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  07:04:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Longdrop,

I did send a reply to you on April 29 but it seems to have gone astray. Thanks for the details of the alternatives to Efudix they sound a bit hairy to me and some quite frightening. I have made such a swift recovery from my Efudex treatment that, as I said to Sparkhi, I had a haircut on Thursday and most of the flaking had gone, so I looked 10-years younger! I used, on the recommendation of my pharmacist, a homeopathic cream called "Traumeel". it is made by the Heel brand name (German). As you say the Efudex cream looks quite harmless and I still cannot get over how the contents of such an innocent looking little package can wreak such havoc in such a short time.

I will continue to monitor the site for a while to give a bit of encouragement to others that may have felt as miserable as I did a couple of weeks back.
Best wishes,
Uncle Paul
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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  19:11:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Longdrop

quote:
Originally posted by sparkih

Thanks Uncle Paul. I will hang in there. Is it typical for my forehead to be all blisters after only 3 days. Or at least it feels like one big mass of red blisters.



Hi Sparkih and Uncle Paul. Sorry to say I agree with Uncle Paul. You got to keep doing it. Never miss a treatment, keep going as long as you can, try to avoid covering it with makeup, avoid the sun, and appreciate it will get worse and worse. I found the worst bit was the day after I stopped - I loved the moisturiser then. Now three weeks after stopping I just look as if I have German Measles and the skin is wonderfully soft and itch free, the spots fading by the day. Make sure you do the whole face though with the thinnest of films, you will be surprised what pops up and where. My forehead was covered in the little beasties (OK so I have a large forehead!).

All the best and remember the better you do it now the less likely you have to do it again. And congrats whoever started this site, I wish I had found it sooner, and thanks for everyone's inpur. There is something especially horrible about being prescribed a cream which makes you uglier by the day!

And yes my spots started to come out on day 2!

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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2011 :  19:21:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Longdrop and Uncle Paul. Everything you have said is going to help me get though this. I went and bought two hats today so I can go out in public. If the itching gets really bad, do you think putting ice on my forehead would be OK? Or will that just remove the cream? I thought maybe the ice would numb it.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2011 :  02:10:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sparkih,
Re ice on your forhead - I really don't know the answer to that, but I would think that it should be OK. From what I understand from my pharmacist the Efudex is absorbed more or less straight away - rather like Vanishing Cream. However, just try to stick to your twice daily applications - I know that it's hell, but do it! Great idea to get a large hat, because the sun is approaching its maximum altitude in your location on June 21. One of the golden rules of the treatment is to try to keep out of the direct rays of the sun as much as possible.

My own problem was caused by not using sun block on the beach - I hate the stuff. For many years I have been associated with Surf Lifesaving especially with the training of youngsters - we teach our kids aged 8-14: "SLIP-SLAP-SLOP". SLIP on a top/SLAP on a hat/SLOP on the sun block. Unfortunately I did not practice what I preached. From henceforth sun block is in and so are big hats. So, Sparkih, watch that sun from hereon, especially April thru' August. Down South here in Cape Town the sun is not too strong right now, but I'm taking no chances.

Anyway, back to your problem - you will have to grit your teeth and pray for your target date to arrive. It will seem an eternity, but you will start looking really great in a very short time thereafter. Good luck and keep at it - we are here to support you!
Ciao,
Uncle Paul
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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2011 :  21:24:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sparkih

Thank you Longdrop and Uncle Paul. Everything you have said is going to help me get though this. I went and bought two hats today so I can go out in public. If the itching gets really bad, do you think putting ice on my forehead would be OK? Or will that just remove the cream? I thought maybe the ice would numb it.

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sparkih

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2011 :  21:31:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Uncle Paul. I'm sitting here with an ice pack on my head and it seems to help. I also went and bought 3 hats today with brims that cover my forehead. I just keep going 1 hour at a time. Again, thank you for all of your support.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2011 :  12:19:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sparkih,

Howzit? No posts from you for a week - are you still hanging in? You must possibly be at about at the worst stage by now, if you are persisting with the tratment. Everybody who sees me now compliments me on how fit and well I look - in fact if I didn't have a few facial scars from a car accident I reckon I would be looking like a film star! So if you are at the stage where you think that you may be scarred for life - forget it and carry on with the Efudex. There is a new you just waiting to emerge after the scaling process has finished. Good luck!
Kindest regards,
Uncle Paul
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mickapoo

4 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2011 :  21:07:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sparkih
If the itching gets really bad, do you think putting ice on my forehead would be OK?


I applied ice to various portions of my face during treatment as well. It was actually one of the more effective means of controlling the discomfort. I used the soft gel ice packs, and would have one in the freezer getting cold while the other was on my face. This allowed me to get some sleep at night!

Please see my website at http://www.hybriddesign.net/efudex for my Efudex treatment journal and photos!
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mickapoo

4 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2011 :  21:09:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sparkih
If the itching gets really bad, do you think putting ice on my forehead would be OK?


I applied ice to various portions of my face during treatment as well. It was actually one of the more effective means of controlling the discomfort. I used the soft gel ice packs, and would have one in the freezer getting cold while the other was on my face. This allowed me to get some sleep at night!

Please see my website at http://www.hybriddesign.net/efudex for my Efudex treatment journal and photos!
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miki333

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2011 :  10:13:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi All,
I'm so glad I found this forum. I'm on my last day of a 3 week 2x daily regime of Effudex. My upper chest I believe has responded well or should I say as it should have. However I was also instructed to apply the cream on the forhead mostly around the hairline. There are a couple of crusty spots but some that have popped up but nothing really happening a far as crusting..just red/brownish spots. My concern is that if I stop, will these spots which weren't there at the onset of this treatment eventually fade or am I stuck with them? Still have some cream left so wondering if perhaps I should continue in these areas? I was instructed to use the Effudex for the 3 weeks but can 't
get in to see my Derm til June 6. I would hate to have to do this whole darn thing again.Is there anyone who has had a similiar experience? Thanks
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2011 :  12:43:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi mikki333,
I saw my Derm to day and got the all-clear - whew! I did raise the point with him about missing a treatment for a day or so and he said that you must stick with it - no gaps. My Derm is a highly qualified plastic surgeon, so I guess he knows what he is talking about. I am afraid that I can't say more than that. So it looks like you should just keep slopping on the Efudex till you run out of the ointment. I am told that Efudix will not attack healthy skin cells. Good luck!
Best regards,
Uncle Paul
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mjpinner

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2011 :  23:45:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello all,
Have been reading with much interest. I was prescribed efudex in Mar 2011. I applied to my lower lip on the left (my left) side on March 5th. I applied twice a day for 2 weeks and then waited for the coming effects of pain, itching, crusting, pealing etc, etc. Well it is now May 20 and my lip is still one big non healing scabby piece of raw meat. There is a gouge on the inside of my lip that is very slowly closing. But the rest of the area is very sore and ugly. Not healing. The doc who prescribed it now has me applying peroxide to keep the bacteria away and bacitracin (3 x's daily) to keep lip moist. But after some initial progress of scab reduction I think my lip much worse off now after. Any suggestions?
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2011 :  02:43:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi mjpinner,
From what I have read you appear to be being treated by a Doc. I would suggest that you make an appoiontment with a Dermatologist. I say this because my Doc sent me straight away to a Derm - he said that my problem appeared to be Solar Keratosis, but that he didn't want to risk a mis-diagnosis. The Derm told me that my condition was indeed SK, but had I left it for a year or so it would probably have turned cancerous. On my last visit to the Derm he told me that once the SK became cancerous Efudex would not touch the problem. Beyond that I'm afraid I can't say any more. Good luck with the Derm!
Kind regard,
Uncle Paul
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Maraika

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  03:01:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your positive information. I can so relate to the damage done to my own skin. I am on my last day of treating my whole face for 28 days with Efudex and have all the pain and raw skin you mention. Along with having a depleted Immune System, due to the treatment, that resulted in a very large cold sore that made everything so much more painful and difficult. It is not much fun!!! But was pleased to read your excellent results and in a shorter time frame than I was dreading. Australian sun is harsh but no one told us how much it would harm us in later life when we were young. I have taken almost daily pictures of my treatment and only need to look at these to remind me to use sunscreen every day.

quote:
Originally posted by queenslander

Greetings everyone. This is my first contribution to this discussion. I just wanted to tell you all that I had a very positive experience with efudex. i am extremely fair skinned and was raised in subtropical Queensland (skin-cancer central), Australia (now living in America). I recently turned 50 and have had chronic problems with sun damaged skin for the last twenty or more years. i have had countless aks and bccs removed with liquid nitrogen and several sccs removed by mohs procedures. Until a year ago, when I decided drastic action was required, I had literally dozens of keratoses and such on my face.

Last annual vacation I sequestered myself away (with wife and then 4-year old daughter) to a country cottage and started the treatment. I was religious about it, applying the cream twice daily (7am and 7pm), lightly massaging liberal but not excessive amounts into the skin of my entire face, leaving a "safe" half-inch zone around the eyes and lips.

Every morning, I took a gentle shower (no soap on the face, just lots of warm water) and patted my face dry with a soft, clean towel. I would then apply the cream. At 7pm I would rinse my face in warm water and apply the cream again.

Not a lot happened in the first few days, but by the end of the week dozens of red spots had emerged. By the tenth day these spots had grown in width and become bright red and sensitive to the touch. I had so many aks and bccs that I lit up like a fire truck. The only parts of my face that weren't red were the areas I'd previously had treated. In any case, I stuck it out--two applications a day for 14 days, exactly.

It wasn't pretty in the second week and it took about ten days to heal once I stopped (the worst of the healing process was over in about seven days). There's no denying that the spots were unsightly. I looked as though I'd been burned, but I lay low and tried to remain hopeful. By the last application, my skin was raw and inflamed. I continued to shower in the morning (still no soap on the face, just a thorough rinse), but now applied, rather gingerly, a coating of aquafor. Same again at night.

I healed remarkably quickly. within three or four days, aks and bccs (some deep and nasty) were washing off with the morning shower. I estimate I had at least 50 to begin with, and after seven days, all but a small few in the area under my eyes had simply peeled off and been replaced by soft, new skin. The remainders took a few more days to work their way loose and I continued to peel lightly in places for another week or so. Beyond that I was a little ruddy for another couple weeks. Folks just assumed, ironically, that I'd gotten "a little too much sun." But my skin now looks and feels better than it has in decades. It's really quite remarkable, and people have remarked. And more importantly, I have nipped a lot of future problems in the bud.

I'm a year out now and though showing my age and bearing some scars from this and other battles, my skin is now soft and clear. Of course I am now super careful about protecting it from the sun.

While I am sure I will continue to have problems with sun damaged skin, at least I now feel like I'm on top of it, whereas, before, the problem spots were so numerous as to be overwhelming.

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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  03:45:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Maraika,
Wow 28-days you are a hero! I wanted to wave the white flag at 15-days but stuck with it to the prescribed 21-days. The last 10-days was hell - I felt almost suicidal. However, having been cleared by the Derm, last week I am ulta-positive about the efficacy of the Efudex treatment. Like you in OZ, the South African sun is near vertical in mid-summer and with our cool Cape Town SE wind it is so easy to get roasted! Henceforth it's big hats, lots of sun block and a re-visit to the Derm this time next year. Well done YOU!
Kind regards,
Uncle Paul
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Maraika

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  06:05:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you soooo much. I don't feel brave. Have felt like crying quite a few times but knew that salty tears would hurt my face more. I have had small bouts of Depression on and off during but remember how thankful I am not to have anything more serious. Specialist said no need to come back unless I had a problem. Everyone has a different reaction. But most of them quite painful. One of the other members asked about the safety of ice packs. I would be better to use cool packs rather than ice as it may possibly damage already compromised cells. I had to use the cream twice a day for 2 days then once a day till 4 weeks. Would rather have had twice a day for 14 days and have it over with. I also suggest changing pillow slips every day as even a small amount of the cream on the slip can affect delicate tissue, eyelids, corners of ears or nose.
I was told not to use any moisturizer during the treatment, nor makeup, and not to go into the sun. I have to wait a couple of days after the last day before using any skin care and it will feel like bliss. Another tip is to avoid rubbing your nose as any cream that may come into contact with your hand and your nostril will make the inside very dry. I used lots of paw paw ointment for that. Thanks for all the encouraging messages in this group.
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  10:50:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Maraika, Yep you sound as if you suffered as I did but for longer. My pharmacist, who also had to suffer as we did , recoomended TRAUMEEL during the recovery period. It is a German cream made by HEEL, so I guess that it's available in OZ. My Derm said that it was just fine to use Traumeel. The question of using a moisturizing cream during the treatment seems to have a bit of a question mark over it. I was tempted to use it, but decided against against using it because I couldn't face the possibility of it impairing the action of the Efudex. As I have told others, use Efudix twice a day for 21-days, keep out of the sun, wash your hands after applying the cream and then grit your teeth and pray for day 21. I have to say now my face has never looked better and my skin is as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom! Good luck with the recovery period - I was looking pretty normal after 2-weeks.
Good luck,
Uncle Paul
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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2011 :  01:42:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Maraika and Uncle Paul and the poorguy using effudex on his lip. Keep with it Maraika! I stopped a month ago and my forehead, which had thirty of the little beasts, is now quite clear, fresh and soft. On the bright side it has also lost quite a few wrinkles!

Someone earlier suggested that the Effudex does not affect healthy cells. This is not quite true apparently. The active ingredient, fluorouracil, is an old cytotoxic (cell killing)chemotherapy drug (c1956?) and works by interrupting RNA-DNA cell synthesis. It affects cancer cells first as they are replicating fastest but would eventually start to affect the healthy ones, which is why we get quite short lengths of treatment. My doctor says he has read of treatment lengths up to 11 weeks. Agony!

All the best to you all and God bless the person who set up this site!
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adm

Australia
2 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2011 :  05:42:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recently completed 21 days (2 applications per day) of Efudex treatment on my face and it was very uncomfortable and unsightly to say the least. After 2 weeks it started to burn and I was very embarrassed to show my face in public. I returned to my dermatologist for a check up and he told me I had a severe reaction and that I could stop the treatment. It took another 3 weeks before my skin fully recovered, including peeling, and they were among the worst days of my life. I wish I had prepared better and known in advance what to expect, I would have stocked food so that I didn't have to go out shopping.

One month later my skin is still pink/red in patches but I hope it is not permanent scarring. Other than that it is very smooth and my AKs (including all the ones I never realized I had) seem to have gone. I think I will apply the cream again to my face in another year or so to really get on top of it all.

Based on my experience here is my advice:

prepare for 3 - 4 weeks of isolation and stock up on essential items including food so you can just chill out at home.
have some good books on hand and an internet connection.
have your family visit you and make regular phone calls so that you dont get too depressed.
don't apply moisturizers or makeup during treatment.
use water only to wet the face and gently blow dry after.
don't touch scratch the skin as your fingers/nails have a lot of bacteria on them.
if itching is too hard to resist, use a tissue to dab the spot but dont scratch or rub with fingers.
after crusting/scabbing has healed use aloe vera or mebo cream to soothe the skin and aid the healing process.
think positive and remember it is temporary - it will get better!
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adm

Australia
2 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2011 :  05:57:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I forget to mention that MEBO (Moist Exposed Burn Ointment- Contains
Beta-sitosterol 0.25%, Sesame oil 92%, Beeswax 7.75%)cream is the very best ointment for healing burns and helping the skin heal quickly. It is based on sesame oil and comes from China. By Supporting Stem cell regeneration it also helps to minimise scarring. In addition, it helps cool the affected skin and has a soothing effect.

I had an excellent dermatologist (trained in US) at Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok, Thailand recommend it to me after I had erbium laser treatment there a couple of years ago. Apply it liberally as much as you want and don't use water to wash it off until skin is healed - it's magic! Seems like doctors/dermatologists here don't know about it.
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Cheeno

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  08:59:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am wondering if anyone else is using Efudex the way I have been told to? Twice a day but for only two days a week and continue until the redness stops? I am into my 3rd week and so far have only had a reasonably minor reaction. I am using it on my nose and several spots on my cheeks and forehead
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Nelson

Australia
1 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2011 :  01:48:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm amazed that this string has lasted all this time, but then I shouldnt be - it is cancer we are talking about after all. My skin specialist has just recommended Efudex for a scc on my cheek (which has had a biopsy) but he reckons they didnt get it all.

After reading all of the posts in this forum I will NEVER use Efudex. I have, however, found a fabulous treatment called 'The Black Salve'. I applied this salve to a small skin cancer on my nose and within 2 weeks it had totally attacked the cancer, turned into a little scab and fell of leaving a small indentation which I am told will self-heal and fill in.

You can read all about the magical ointment here www.blacksalve.com.au

I will NEVER use Efudex or another cream they prescribe called Adlara. This Black Salve is amazing. I am now going to apply it to the site of the scc biopsy and see what happens. Stay tuned.
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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2011 :  02:34:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Nelson. I'd be very cautious about using Blacksalve or any other escharotic. If you search for it on Wikipedia there is a pretty damning article as there also is on the NZ Dermatology site at http://www.dermnet.org.nz/treatments/escharotics.html

The alternative treatment you are referring to is Aldara, which is a bit more fiddly to use than Efudex and should only be used on small areas and not open lesions I understand.

Sorry to hear a biopsy did not remove your SCC but then again the purpose of the biopsy is to determine the nature of the growth not remove it. I have however had a tiny SCC removed from my scalp by a biopsy procedure and confirmed by another biopsy of the site.
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Maraika

Australia
3 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2011 :  00:49:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
2 weeks after 28 day treatment using Efudex. At the end of 28 days my face was burning and very, very painful. I was told not to use anything on my skin till I saw the specialist 4 days later. He said I had severe reaction and that the worse the reaction the better the end result. I was to use a topical hydro cortisone - for 7 days only. Then to go onto a good safe moisturizer. The redness would last for several more weeks, possible up to 6 weeks. It felt like bliss to not have the scabbing and cracking. Now 2 weeks on I have some very thick scabs in patches and one bad one top of cheek bone where I lost the scab during my sleep and it bled. I can see clear, clean patches where my skin feels smooth. I am starting to feel a little better about going out in public soon. I expect that another 2 weeks will make all the difference although many times I have had my doubts. It could have been a lot worse!!
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2011 :  08:43:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone, new member here. I'm glad I came across this site.

My derm prescribed me Efudex 5% and I had no idea of what I was getting until I picked it up and Googled it. Now I'm freaking out! Chemo? He made no mention of some of the stuff I'm reading and photos I'm seeing. He said this was an alternative to the nitrogen burnings, twice a day for a month.

I work with the public everyday so I don't know how thats going to work. I don't know if I can do it. (A good opportunity to educate people maybe....)

I suppose I'm fortunate that i haven't had any surgeries yet, and we're doing this to get rid of pre-cancerous nasties.

Unfortunately, getting another appointment quickly with him to ask questions isn't very easy. So I'm debating about whether and when to start this. It seems like everyone's experience is a little different, depending on the level of damage to their skin.

I look forward to reading more here and will contribute once I start - in the meantime I'll just curse "the Coppertone Tan" we were chasing back when were younger.
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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2011 :  16:52:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am new at that this too. Just joined and posted wrong, but.


Dr. just prescribed Efudex. I work with the public too, I'm a Realtor, how does the Dr expect me to live and work while using this? It's not going to happen after seeing the photos. I dont have the money to seclude myself for 4-6 weeks. How did you people handle this?
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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2011 :  19:18:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HI FlaLadyB. The last two weeks of treatment and the first two weeks after are the worst but I kept working all through. People were generally very sympathetic and kept telling me it was getting better. The alternatives of surgery and nitrogen burning are both more expensive and disfiguring (hugely so in the case of surgery). I wish I had done Efudex earlier and am very happy with the result - the furrows on my 60 year lod forehead have effectively disappeared!
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  00:28:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi FlatLadyB - I totally agree with the comments from LongDrop - go for it - the alternatives are ghastly. Just wear a big hat and brave it out. Just about everybody I met were very sympathetic and some even went scuttling off to their docs to get themselves checked out. So - grit your teeth and you will emerge looking like a new person. In fact on an overseas visit, some 2-months after the treatment, I got many comments on how fantastically fit and youthful I looked.
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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  10:52:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
but how am I going to work with my face looking like raw hamburger meat? I'm single too and that makes it even harder. I wouldnt be able to go any where!

I can handle doing my chest and lower arms, but my face?
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  14:29:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi FlaLadyB, As I said before the majority of people were most sympathetic to my condition and provided that you wear a big hat you can get by. It might even boost your sales! Remember it's not forever, whereas if you have to undergo surgery then it could be permanently disfiguring. Possibly high summer is not the best time to go about taking the Efudex cure. So maybe wait a couple of months until the sun is less strong. If you have some vacation due to you, then start the week before and then hide away for a couple of weeks, if you feel that you must do so. Therafter you will be on the mend. My own recovery was very swift once I stopped the Efudex applications and started using a soothing balm. However, believe me, the end really does justify the means! You will look like a film star within 6-weeks!
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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  14:34:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I dont have vacation. I don't have 6 weeks to look like raw hamburger.. I can't hide away. I MUST work. Its only me and the bills. Wearing a hat just wont get it.. its my face, not my head.
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deruo

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  14:45:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Flalady, like you I am a Realtor and also had qualms about working with clients while using Efudex. Although my dermatologist doesn't seem to think that it'll be that bad, I'm not convinced. We'll see once I start.

Either way, you have two choices. Do nothing and take the risk of having to have surgery or developing melanoma, or doing the thing with Efudex and know that you're reducing the chances of getting skin cancer in the future.

My dermo gave me the go ahead to do the treatment in the fall, when the sun isn't so strong, and I can take a week or so to work at home and maybe reduce the amount of time I have to spend with clients. Those that see me will ask and I will tell them what is going on.

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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  14:55:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well me being in Florida doesnt help

My alternative is to do the Photodynamic Therapy but I haven't seen much said about it on here. Seems like it would be less envasive.

I know doing the efudex would be best, but after reading and seeing all the things that happen to people, its really hard to even think about doing it unless I can disappear for a few weeks and hide in the dark.

I know.enough whining.. still

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Cheeno

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  19:51:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am currently using Efudex and am very happy with the results BUT my doctor has a different approach. I am using it twice a day but for only two days a week and will continue for several weeks. I have finished a 7 week session, had a 2 week break to see how it's gone and am now back on another 7 - 8 week session. I certainly have a reaction and the areas become red but have had no major, severe reaction so have been able to continue going out etc. Perhaps my initial problem wasn't as severe as others but I have been having various other treatments for several years with good results but the problem areas kept returning after a few years.My doctor has said he doesn't need to subject me to the intense severe treatment - he believes he'll get the same results by treating over a longer period. He is highly respected in his field. Like all forum posts this is my personal experience that is working for me and may not be appropriate for others but I have posted this to show that there is another way to use this treatment. I am very happy with the results but who knows what will be happening next year!
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Longdrop

Papua New Guinea
18 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2011 :  20:03:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FlaLady, there is some evidence that mild sun exposure improves treatment efficacy. The important thing though is to follow the regime the doc prescribes and don't stop too soon. It is not so bad and people ARE very sympathetic. My son came for a visit and said I looked years younger!
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JennT

2 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2011 :  11:07:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone had an issue of squamous cell on the face being mis-diagnosed with Lupus of the skin? Three biopsys in different areas came back as either actinic keratosis or squamous. I went for a second opinoin on treatment. The Dr. was convinced it was not cancerous so I asked him to take yet another biopsy. The pathology came back as lupus.

Am now on my 7th day of treatment (for the 2nd time) with Efudex and the spot diagnosed as Lupus is reacting the same as the AK/SCC spots. Just curious if anyone else has experinced the same thing.
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SherylWA

Australia
2 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2011 :  00:42:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am on day 2 of Efudex for my face, arms and chest. I am so glad I stumbled onto this site. Reading your comments and hints is extremely helpful, and now I know what I'm REALLY in for!
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uncle paul

South Africa
14 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2011 :  04:00:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi SherylWA, I wish you luck with the treatment - as you may have gathered from the site it gets a bit uncomfortable especially towards the end but stick with it and you will emerge feeling better and looking much better. I would not like to have repeat the process but I would do so without hesitation, if required, knowing that it is a very temporary treatmentthat that really works. I would be much happier going out than I was originally and meeting people. I got a lot of sympathy and encouragement when I did so and even got "special prices" on some of my purchases from those that felt sorry for me! So, when and if it gets a bit yukkie for you, just grit your teeth and pray for day 21! You will emerge, a couple of weeks thereafter, looking like a film star!
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FlaLadyB

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2011 :  10:05:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a question about the cost of efudex. Has anyone found a reputable less expensive place to order it? The price here is $350 a tube with no insurance. The generic is still $250. My Dr. says some of his patients found it for $150. I will have to go hunting once I decide to do it. Not ready yet and its too hot in Fla.

Also, do you use one tube, or more?
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Disclaimer: The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is the most dangerous type, keep in mind that any cancer and potentially some cancer treatments can cause injury or death. The various views expressed in these public forums should not be considered as medical advice. See your qualified health-care professional for medical attention, advice, diagnosis, and treatments.