“I am going to mess up your forehead” – Part I

I am not a Doctor, so don’t take my word on this, but I am pretty sure that as skin cancers go, the one you want, if you have to have any, is a basal cell carcinoma. I think this is because it is the most manageable type, and has the lowest rate of recurrence assuming that it is properly diagnosed and treated, but again, I am not a Doctor.

Apparently basal cell carcinomas are caused by localized damage due to sun exposure. The good news with the basal cell variety is that they are not the spreading, malignant type. The bad news is that the frolicking, baked to a golden brown, summer fun in the sun of youth has come back to haunt in the form of an newly appearing irregularly shaped mole. Typically found on the face, neck or hands, these moles tend to be flaky with rough edges. The locations mentioned are common due to their increased exposure to the sun. As for those on the neck and face, the left side is more prevalent due to relatively more exposure through the driver’s side window.

Again, don’t take my word; if you suspect anything about a new mole, talk to your doctor.

I have had several of these things removed over the years and I have gotten over the initial shock of being told that I had even a benign cancer. These can often be removed with just the biopsy that is required for diagnosis. This latest one I was discussing with my doctor was different though. It was a little bigger and located in a place that threatened my vanity, however ridiculous that sounds. If not removed and “repaired” carefully the site of the surgery could compromise one of my best “features” – my smooth, nicely rounded forehead, right around the place that most people call the “hairline”.

Due to circumstances beyond my control my hairline has migrated drastically backward, and over the top of my head. Some people call this “baldness”, but I steadfastly reject this pejorative term. Close examination clearly will reveal that I am far from hairless up there – there are many, many hairs. They are arguably, very small, fine hairs; some might say vanishingly small, but I prefer to hold the line – I will admit to having “thin hair”, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

Regardless, before being challenged with the looming prospect of surgery on my forehead, I had taken this fine feature of mine for granted. Given my admitted condition of having “thin hair” it helps a lot to be able to say that I have a nicely shaped, smoothly rounded head up there.

What with an unknowable amount of scraping and cutting that might be required to remove this potentially quarter-sized lesion I wasn’t quite sure how to feel or what to say. All I could come up with at the moment though was, pleadingly – “Doc, you’re not going to mess up my nice, smooth round forehead, are you?”

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