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on Cyclo Now Diagnosed with Skin Cancer
wanted to write you and give you an update on yet another chapter in my
a month ago, I was diagnosed with SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA (hereinafter
referred to as SCC), which, as you probably know, is a form of skin
cancer. It all started with a
few raised, sore bumps that looked almost like nasty mosquito bites on my
lower legs. My derm, a woman,
biopsied two of the biggest ones, and sure enough, the biopsy showed they
were both SCC. She says they
are caused by the cyclosporine. Anyhow,
she took about a 3 x 3 inch section of healthy skin off around both biopsy
sites and both sites showed clean margins, so she got it all.
I just had the sutures removed this morning, and both wounds were
terribly infected, due, of course, to my suppressed immune system from the
I have about a dozen or so more [SCC sites] that have popped up, also on
my lower legs, so she referred me to a general surgeon who will biopsy
them all at one time and determine which ones need excising.
bad news is: no more cyclo for me. I
begged her to let me stay on "just for the summer," but she said
this form of skin cancer can eventually kill me if left untreated, and was
that a serious enough threat to get me to stop taking cyclo?
will be taking a two week holiday from all systemic drugs, then back to
the Soriatane, which helped somewhat, but wasn't a miracle drug (well,
neither was the cyclo, but it was better). The worst side effect I really
noticed from the cyclo was excessive hair growth all over my body, face,
arms, back, buttocks (it's like a long peach fuzz all over).
When I was on Soriatane, I actually had a thinning of the hair on
that grab ya? I'll let
you know what the surgeon says once I have the other sites biopsied and/or
care and have your derm check your skin extra carefully for SCC!
What a nightmare! -Michelle M.
Response: Sorry this had to
happen to you, Michelle. Search
on “Sherry” here for correspondence from another skin cancer sufferer.
This is the first I have heard of cyclosporine causing SCC.
The closest statement I have found to this is in my PDR Family
Guide to Prescription Drugs, and that statement is “increased risk
of infection and of certain malignancies, including skin cancer...”
What’s the difference between “cause” and “increased
risk”? Well, maybe nothing
Anyway, thanks for the warning. For those of us already at “increased risk” for skin cancer because of light therapies (UVB, PUVA, Goerckermann), a cyclosporine regimen may be even more problematic. For those of us with derms who tend not to conduct full-body exams, if we are in this “at risk” category because of cyclosporine, we may want to make our derms take a look all over regardless of their reticence. -Ed