Actinic keratosis; pre-cancerous treatment with Efudix, 5% Fluorouracil Day 1 Week 1
First in a series of personal Vlogs covering chemical treatment of pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis on my face, scalp and neck with ‘Efudix’ 5% Flourouracil (aka ‘Efudex’ in USA).
Background; advised by Doctors in 2013 I had eczema on my face and neck and was treated for 5 years with emolients (moisturisers) and steroid creams. Advised ‘off the record’ that sunlight was the ‘best treatment’. That didn’t work.
5 years later one particular patch of skin was getting bigger and a cause for concern. I picked it off – it bled slightly but didn’t heal – it had this hole’ in the middle which I knew wasn’t right. Different Doctor seen who advised it was ‘sun damage’ i.e. a type of keratoses and would ‘need to be removed’. Initially treated with Cryotherapy – liquid nitrogen sprayed onto each patch of skin – 8 to 10 patches sprayed – and sprayed again a short time later (early 2019) – face, ears, neck and scalp. Some improvement on these areas but the main patch did not improve – biopsy taken which came back as ‘Squamous Cell Carcinoma’ aka SCC – one of the various forms of skin cancer and not uncommon for people of Northern European stock (I knew it wasn’t good when the Doctor rang me with the results). Quick appointment to hospital and approximately 1″ square patch of skin cut out to ensure ‘it’ would not spread. Surrounding skin removed and checked – believe they have removed it all.
Fast forward several months (January 2020) and those areas treated with Cryotherapy are beginning to reappear. ‘Roh Roh’ as Scooby would say. Three patches of skin below left eye sprayed plus two moles on back which appear to be a non-cancerous skin growth – sebhorreic keratosis. Skin along hairline, scalp and temples rough and suspect ‘actinic keratosis’ – possibly pre-cancerous – 10% chance of developing into skin cancer, but higher for people who have already had it develop into SCC i.e. people like me.
Prescribed chemical treatment using Efudix 5% fourouracil. To be self-applied twice weekly for three to four weeks. Doctor mentioned at that time my skin and/or the cream may be ‘like sandpaper’. She did not mention the other effects – I found those out with the first application along my hairline and temples. Got a bit of a shock to put it mildly. Thinking I was having an uncommon reaction, I spent some time on Youtube and Google, only to find dozens of photos and videos of people with the same reactions – multiple red, raised botchy skin patches – some of the photos taken two weeks into their treatment were horrific – I mean HORRIFIC! Seriously doubting whether or not to proceed after some of those pictures and vids!
With no choice but to proceed with treatment (else risk further surgery to face), I am beginning this compilation series of images and videos to record my own progress with the Efudix treatment – partly to educate others as to the effects and partly (or mainly?) to embolden myself as my face progresses towards the vivid image of a splattered beetroot/burns victim/bloodied dartboard/unknown epidemic plague carrier from far far away land.
If I can post these videos and make them public then in theory I will have some extra courage to face the public, in person, with the monster face that awaits them. So that’s about it – first video – more to follow – subscribe and keep up-to-date with progress or don’t bother, just watch the videos in this playlist, in sequence. Will compile multiple images once treatment finished – 4 weeks from now – this will be followed by 3 to 4 months of ‘healing’ and further vids/photos.
Some excellent videos on Youtube already by e.g. Robert Brown, Tina Maples, Captmoonbeam and many others – thank you for sharing your experiences – forewarned is forearmed. Good luck to all you going through this.