Biopsy Report: Common Old Man Skin Cancer

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Yesterday afternoon I saw my Dermatologist who presented me the lab’s very detailed report with color microscope photos and the diagnosis en español:

“Carcinoma epidermoide bien diferenciado, invasor, de al menos 4 milímetros de diámetro mayor, que alcanza los márgenes de resección.”  Or in English according to SpanishDict.com translation:

“A well-differentiated, invasive epidermoid Carcinoma of at least 4 mm greater diameter, reaching the margins of resection.”

The Doc assures me he can cut it all out by going a prescribed mm distance all the way around it (a big chunk of flesh!) and with several stitches will heal that part of my right forearm back to normal. That’s a $600 surgery or for $4,000 he can do a much tinier section removed while a separate pathologist is testing (continuous biopsy) every little bit of skin to make sure they get all the cancer without taking as much of a chunk! He recommends this for a growth on the nose, etc. where removing more is more obvious. Of course I’m doing the cheaper one which he assures me has always been successful for him and what he recommends. Just a little scar on my right forearm. It is scheduled for 19 November after my next trip which is to Palo Verde National Park 10-15 November. My doctors work around my trips and not vice-a-versa.   🙂

It is interesting that Dermatologists here say the same thing they told me in the states, that these growths that keep popping on my body in old age are caused by getting too much sunshine when I was a little boy. No one told us that back then!  Or maybe I was not paying attention when Mom wanted me to use sunscreen?      🙂     The young are invincible and us old ones just smile at our little problems.   🙂

Since this is a retirement blog, I guess this kind of gory medical report is appropriate. Anywhere you live in retirement you must deal with these things and the medical services in Costa Rica are simply great and so much more affordable that I’m just using a private doctor again instead of the free public ones, which are slower but just as good and free!  🙂  I still use a public doctor to monitor my heart arrhythmia, but other things I’ve been happy with the quick responses of private doctors, like this Dermatologist, Dr. Gamboa.

¡Pura Vida Medico!

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