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Efudex

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Topic URL: http://www.topicalinfo.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=168
Printed on: 08/15/2020

Topic:


Topic author: anne
Subject: Efudex
Posted on: 07/31/2007 00:03:42
Message:

i have cancer all over my arms and chest. It is squamous cell and its very bad. I have had 9 surgeries. This is my third week on efudex and i am so sick and miserable. Does anyone know if this is worth it? Will it be gone after 6 weeks? I feel i can not take much more . I am so depressed.

Replies:


Reply author: Martha1
Replied on: 07/31/2007 15:42:28
Message:

Anne, have you seen this link yet? http://www.topicalchemo.com/

It might help to read about someone else's experiences. He used Efudex on his face, and he created a photographic journal of the experience. (You can also find it by clicking on “Sticky: Topical Treatment Pictures” and then on the post by fforest on 7/26/2007.)

Love & prayers,
Martha


Reply author: dan
Replied on: 08/01/2007 19:46:46
Message:

The link Martha1 provided still amazes me because of the anguish that fellow must have endured. I don't know how he kept going. And honestly, the "before" picture didn't seem that bad.

Efudex does work but I wonder if a combo treatment would work better or at least faster. Two things that come to my mind to consider adding are orange oil (d-limonene) and DMSO. Both could help the Efudex penetrate deeper and both have anticancer properties of their own. Keep in mind that any combo treatment has to be regarded as completely experimental. I think the eggplant-vinegar-orange oil+ treatment that fforest used (sticky topic in this forum) is a very promising and hopefully much less painful alternative to consider.

Anne, thanks for the post and know that you are in our prayers.


Reply author: SoFl
Replied on: 09/21/2007 00:43:47
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by dan

The link Martha1 provided still amazes me because of the anguish that fellow must have endured. I don't know how he kept going. And honestly, the "before" picture didn't seem that bad.

Efudex does work but I wonder if a combo treatment would work better or at least faster. Two things that come to my mind to consider adding are orange oil (d-limonene) and DMSO. Both could help the Efudex penetrate deeper and both have anticancer properties of their own. Keep in mind that any combo treatment has to be regarded as completely experimental. I think the eggplant-vinegar-orange oil+ treatment that fforest used (sticky topic in this forum) is a very promising and hopefully much less painful alternative to consider.

Anne, thanks for the post and know that you are in our prayers.



Hi Dan.

I have used efudex on my hand, arm, lip, forehead and nose to treat ak's and scc in situ. It works but it's a miserable treatment. It does work though, and one tube is around $100 and it will last a long long time if you don't waste it.


Anyway, I wanted to write to say that I read a paper from one Dermatologist who said that even with regular 5fu treatment some is absorbed systemically. There have been no studies on otherwise healthy people on internal 5fu and the actions it has internally are sort of undefined in a healthy person according to him and since it works by inhibiting DNA synthesis, that's a powerful thing inside you. So, I can't see mixing it with DMSO. I would think that would risk a high blood level that might not be so good. Anyway, I don't think I'd do it and wanted to make sure people consider that angle.

The 5% (5fu) as I;m sure you are aware, is powerful stuff on it's own. If you use it long enough it will go very deep. Basically the way it works on me is that you keep using it and it keeps eating deeper and then finally you get to stop. My derm says 4 weeks on the face, six on the arms and hands (it worked in 4 for me on my hand) and two on the lip. One reason I'm here is to look for better alternatives.



Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 09/22/2007 10:36:02
Message:

The way they discovered efudex worked on skin cancer is when they were using it as a chemotherapy drug the people being treated for internal cancers ( who also by chance had known or unkown skin cancers) would light up everywhere there was a skin cancer.

What efudex does in 4 to 5 weeks bloodroot does in 24 hours. My derm was blown away by my bloodroot treatment pictures and agreed that it is exactly the same reaction as aldara or efudex but just much faster.

BTW Efudex can be purchased out of Canada or Mexico online for much less. I bought a tube in Tijuana when I was down there for $10. It can be ordered online at several online stores.

Curaderm, Sunspot both use the glycoalkaloids derived from eggplant and seem to get a similar reaction somewhere in between Efudex and Bloodroot.

I am currently experimenting with eggplant vinegar mixture with fingers crossed results so far. Several here (Mexico, Rocco and FForest) have had success using the kitchen sink approach using combos with success.


Reply author: SoFl
Replied on: 09/22/2007 11:16:38
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by anivoc

The way they discovered efudex worked on skin cancer is when they were using it as a chemotherapy drug the people being treated for internal cancers ( who also by chance had known or unkown skin cancers) would light up everywhere there was a skin cancer.

What efudex does in 4 to 5 weeks bloodroot does in 24 hours. My derm was blown away by my bloodroot treatment pictures and agreed that it is exactly the same reaction as aldara or efudex but just much faster.

BTW Efudex can be purchased out of Canada or Mexico online for much less. I bought a tube in Tijuana when I was down there for $10. It can be ordered online at several online stores.

Curaderm, Sunspot both use the glycoalkaloids derived from eggplant and seem to get a similar reaction somewhere in between Efudex and Bloodroot.

I am currently experimenting with eggplant vinegar mixture with fingers crossed results so far. Several here (Mexico, Rocco and FForest) have had success using the kitchen sink approach using combos with success.



I'm using efudex on a spot on my arm right now...one more week to go to make 4 weeks. It totally sucks I hate that stuff. I bought some sunspot ES and also some of the Cmyllum (probably spelled wrong) and I'm going to use that if anything new pops up in that area to see how it works.

I also mixed up a batch of the eggplant vinegar mixture by just chopping up an organic eggplant and putting it in the blender and using just enough apple cider vinegar to make it into a paste. I'm trying that on a few isolated spots as an experiment.

I've been scared about the bloodroot after I saw a picture of some lady's nose that fell off. I have heard that it only goes after cancerous tissue and I have also heard that it goes after everything and don't know what to believe about that????

I'm a walking chem lab!


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 09/22/2007 12:22:17
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by SoFl

I've been scared about the bloodroot after I saw a picture of some lady's nose that fell off. I have heard that it only goes after cancerous tissue and I have also heard that it goes after everything and don't know what to believe about that????



I KNOW Bloodroot paste ( at least what I have used ) has no effect on healthy skin ( at least mine ) I did a test spot on my "very white never seen the sun" hip and it had no effect after 24 hours.

Unfortunately the horror stories out there are absolutely true. The problem is they don't include the fact that the woman who lost her nose would have lost her nose with or without bloodroot paste. If it had been Mohs they would have needed to take all the cancerous tissue also. So it is all about the facts there are many people missing ears noses and lips that never used bloodroot but had skin cancer.


Reply author: SoFl
Replied on: 09/22/2007 12:39:43
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by anivoc

quote:
Originally posted by SoFl

I've been scared about the bloodroot after I saw a picture of some lady's nose that fell off. I have heard that it only goes after cancerous tissue and I have also heard that it goes after everything and don't know what to believe about that????



I KNOW Bloodroot paste ( at least what I have used ) has no effect on healthy skin ( at least mine ) I did a test spot on my "very white never seen the sun" hip and it had no effect after 24 hours.

Unfortunately the horror stories out there are absolutely true. The problem is they don't include the fact that the woman who lost her nose would have lost her nose with or without bloodroot paste. If it had been Mohs they would have needed to take all the cancerous tissue also. So it is all about the facts there are many people missing ears noses and lips that never used bloodroot but had skin cancer.



good info, thanks.


Reply author: dan
Replied on: 09/23/2007 23:52:38
Message:

SoFl, there was some info communicated to me from a fellow named Earnest about mixing Efudex with DMSO at http://www.topicalinfo.org/Topical.htm#efudex

The treatment time using the Efudex-DMSO combo was reportedly shortened considerably and the number of treatments was reduced from 56 (28 days at 2x per day) to 4 (4 days at 1x per day). Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. Earnest never noticed any erythema (redness) from the DMSO-Efudex combo nor any final scars.

The treatment specifically was one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream mixed into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO. Earnest applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on his ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin.

Anyway, the reduced number of treatments perhaps mitigates some of the concern about the Efudex being absorbed systemically. Earnest noted that the DMSO-Efudex is also useful for treating fungal infections. Hmmm, there is that skin cancer and fungus infection connection again.


Reply author: SoFl
Replied on: 09/24/2007 11:18:15
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by dan

SoFl, there was some info communicated to me from a fellow named Earnest about mixing Efudex with DMSO at http://www.topicalinfo.org/Topical.htm#efudex

The treatment time using the Efudex-DMSO combo was reportedly shortened considerably and the number of treatments was reduced from 56 (28 days at 2x per day) to 4 (4 days at 1x per day). Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. Earnest never noticed any erythema (redness) from the DMSO-Efudex combo nor any final scars.

The treatment specifically was one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream mixed into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO. Earnest applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on his ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin.

Anyway, the reduced number of treatments perhaps mitigates some of the concern about the Efudex being absorbed systemically. Earnest noted that the DMSO-Efudex is also useful for treating fungal infections. Hmmm, there is that skin cancer and fungus infection connection again.



good info again Dan, thanks. I'm just finishing up a 4 week 5-fu treatment on my arm for scc in situ after having two removed in that general area and to be honest I'm really just looking for a better alternative to flouracil at this point. My arm looks like it took some of Cheney's buckshot right now. It itches so much the other night I took a bar of exfoliating soap to it and rubbed it until it was raw.

I plan on trying all the treatments on this board in addition to all the dietary changes I have made which I believe are also very important based on the reading I've done.

I'm doing the eggplant/vinegar and so far I am very encouraged by this treatment...it's just taking suspicious spots all over and making them look less suspicious by the day. I'm also using it on my lower lip which has been a constant source of problems...I've had scc in situ removed surgically and used efudex on it 4 times now over a period of 10 years for an ak band around the lower edge of the lower lip which constantly peels and still having problems but so far three days after using the eggplant/vinegar it looks and feels better than it's felt in many years....extremely encouraging overall result so far compared to everything else I've tried. There is definitely something to this idea.

The total outlay was a couple of dollars for an organic eggplant and 88 cents for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. I'll post more results after a few weeks in that thread.

thanks to you Dan and all the experimenters here for the ideas!


Reply author: inneedof411
Replied on: 12/23/2007 05:03:46
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by SoFl

quote:
Originally posted by dan

SoFl, there was some info communicated to me from a fellow named Earnest about mixing Efudex with DMSO at http://www.topicalinfo.org/Topical.htm#efudex

The treatment time using the Efudex-DMSO combo was reportedly shortened considerably and the number of treatments was reduced from 56 (28 days at 2x per day) to 4 (4 days at 1x per day). Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. Earnest never noticed any erythema (redness) from the DMSO-Efudex combo nor any final scars.

The treatment specifically was one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream mixed into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO. Earnest applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on his ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin.

Anyway, the reduced number of treatments perhaps mitigates some of the concern about the Efudex being absorbed systemically. Earnest noted that the DMSO-Efudex is also useful for treating fungal infections. Hmmm, there is that skin cancer and fungus infection connection again.



good info again Dan, thanks. I'm just finishing up a 4 week 5-fu treatment on my arm for scc in situ after having two removed in that general area and to be honest I'm really just looking for a better alternative to flouracil at this point. My arm looks like it took some of Cheney's buckshot right now. It itches so much the other night I took a bar of exfoliating soap to it and rubbed it until it was raw.

I plan on trying all the treatments on this board in addition to all the dietary changes I have made which I believe are also very important based on the reading I've done.

I'm doing the eggplant/vinegar and so far I am very encouraged by this treatment...it's just taking suspicious spots all over and making them look less suspicious by the day. I'm also using it on my lower lip which has been a constant source of problems...I've had scc in situ removed surgically and used efudex on it 4 times now over a period of 10 years for an ak band around the lower edge of the lower lip which constantly peels and still having problems but so far three days after using the eggplant/vinegar it looks and feels better than it's felt in many years....extremely encouraging overall result so far compared to everything else I've tried. There is definitely something to this idea.

The total outlay was a couple of dollars for an organic eggplant and 88 cents for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. I'll post more results after a few weeks in that thread.

thanks to you Dan and all the experimenters here for the ideas!


Reply author: inneedof411
Replied on: 12/23/2007 05:06:27
Message:

Can you please explain the eggplant vinegar solution--how to make it and how to apply it? I'm just finishing week two of the Efudex (which is some scary stuff!!) and I'd love an alternative for the future. Thank you!

quote:
Originally posted by inneedof411

quote:
Originally posted by SoFl

quote:
Originally posted by dan

SoFl, there was some info communicated to me from a fellow named Earnest about mixing Efudex with DMSO at http://www.topicalinfo.org/Topical.htm#efudex

The treatment time using the Efudex-DMSO combo was reportedly shortened considerably and the number of treatments was reduced from 56 (28 days at 2x per day) to 4 (4 days at 1x per day). Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. Earnest never noticed any erythema (redness) from the DMSO-Efudex combo nor any final scars.

The treatment specifically was one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream mixed into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO. Earnest applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on his ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin.

Anyway, the reduced number of treatments perhaps mitigates some of the concern about the Efudex being absorbed systemically. Earnest noted that the DMSO-Efudex is also useful for treating fungal infections. Hmmm, there is that skin cancer and fungus infection connection again.



good info again Dan, thanks. I'm just finishing up a 4 week 5-fu treatment on my arm for scc in situ after having two removed in that general area and to be honest I'm really just looking for a better alternative to flouracil at this point. My arm looks like it took some of Cheney's buckshot right now. It itches so much the other night I took a bar of exfoliating soap to it and rubbed it until it was raw.

I plan on trying all the treatments on this board in addition to all the dietary changes I have made which I believe are also very important based on the reading I've done.

I'm doing the eggplant/vinegar and so far I am very encouraged by this treatment...it's just taking suspicious spots all over and making them look less suspicious by the day. I'm also using it on my lower lip which has been a constant source of problems...I've had scc in situ removed surgically and used efudex on it 4 times now over a period of 10 years for an ak band around the lower edge of the lower lip which constantly peels and still having problems but so far three days after using the eggplant/vinegar it looks and feels better than it's felt in many years....extremely encouraging overall result so far compared to everything else I've tried. There is definitely something to this idea.

The total outlay was a couple of dollars for an organic eggplant and 88 cents for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. I'll post more results after a few weeks in that thread.

thanks to you Dan and all the experimenters here for the ideas!




Reply author: MyEfudex
Replied on: 03/14/2008 00:04:09
Message:

To anyone thinking about or currently going through an Exfudex treatment check out my experiance at www.MyEfudex.com It may be very helpful.

During the healing process I strongly recommend coating the area that had Efudex cream applied with vasoline, It keeps the skin from scabbing, cracking, and itching(make sure you consult your doctor).


Reply author: Gunther St
Replied on: 03/20/2008 13:56:41
Message:

MyEfudex posted a very useful message about what to do after completing the treatment, when the redness and scabbing become very uncomfortable. Vaseline was also suggested tome by my Dermatologist, to ameliorate the discomfort. The Efudex home page remarkable fails to mention any means to do something about the treatment aftermath, during healing. A distinct failing.
Another material offered to me was a topical steroid, but foolishly I ignored it.

The DMSO-Efudex suggestion sounds extremely interesting. DMSO aids the absorption/penetration of chemicals through the skin. Many years ago, I tried it with aspirin with DMSO to take care of some muscle pain, and it seemed to help. Now we have Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.


Reply author: atibati
Replied on: 03/23/2008 16:56:40
Message:

Hello,

Can you say me where can I buy Efudex Cream? Maybe someone can sell it for me and then send it to Russia?


Reply author: alelks
Replied on: 03/30/2008 22:17:10
Message:

Hello everyone. I just ran across this site.

My complexion is pretty much the same as the gentleman with link posted above. I am in my 7th day of Efudex treatment and for the last couple of days I have been experiencing the sunburn like pain and the damaged areas are showing up like neon. I am using the Efudex on my entire scalp, forehead, cheaks nose and ears. This is going to be fun (not really).

For some reason my Dermatologist only has me being treated for 2 weeks.

I'm looking at options for my "after treatment" to help alleviate some of the dryness and discomfort. I just ordered some pure Emu Oil and was wondering if anyone has thought of trying this as a moisturizer. I have been using the Blu-emu for a couple of months to help alleviate dry skin on the top of my head (it's bald up there) and it works great with no greasy feeling.

AL


Reply author: alelks
Replied on: 03/30/2008 22:46:17
Message:

After reading the thread about what DMSO is I'm now thinking that pure Emu oil may also be an excellent delivery system for various medicines.

I just ordered some from this website which has some good info on what Emu Oil is as well as some of it's uses.

http://emuoildepot.com/index.html

AL


Reply author: ched454
Replied on: 05/10/2008 11:50:32
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by inneedof411

Can you please explain the eggplant vinegar solution--how to make it and how to apply it? I'm just finishing week two of the Efudex (which is some scary stuff!!) and I'd love an alternative for the future. Thank you!

quote:
Originally posted by inneedof411

quote:
Originally posted by SoFl

quote:
Originally posted by dan

SoFl, there was some info communicated to me from a fellow named Earnest about mixing Efudex with DMSO at http://www.topicalinfo.org/Topical.htm#efudex

The treatment time using the Efudex-DMSO combo was reportedly shortened considerably and the number of treatments was reduced from 56 (28 days at 2x per day) to 4 (4 days at 1x per day). Also four to six week treatments with Efudex cream may result in an unsightly wound in the skin and final scarring. Earnest never noticed any erythema (redness) from the DMSO-Efudex combo nor any final scars.

The treatment specifically was one part by volume of 5% Efudex cream mixed into four parts by volume of 99.7% DMSO. Earnest applied the mixture to the bleeding sore on his ear with a brush. This application was repeated daily for four days. A scab formed and with no further attention came off after about four weeks revealing normal unscarred skin.

Anyway, the reduced number of treatments perhaps mitigates some of the concern about the Efudex being absorbed systemically. Earnest noted that the DMSO-Efudex is also useful for treating fungal infections. Hmmm, there is that skin cancer and fungus infection connection again.



good info again Dan, thanks. I'm just finishing up a 4 week 5-fu treatment on my arm for scc in situ after having two removed in that general area and to be honest I'm really just looking for a better alternative to flouracil at this point. My arm looks like it took some of Cheney's buckshot right now. It itches so much the other night I took a bar of exfoliating soap to it and rubbed it until it was raw.

I plan on trying all the treatments on this board in addition to all the dietary changes I have made which I believe are also very important based on the reading I've done.

I'm doing the eggplant/vinegar and so far I am very encouraged by this treatment...it's just taking suspicious spots all over and making them look less suspicious by the day. I'm also using it on my lower lip which has been a constant source of problems...I've had scc in situ removed surgically and used efudex on it 4 times now over a period of 10 years for an ak band around the lower edge of the lower lip which constantly peels and still having problems but so far three days after using the eggplant/vinegar it looks and feels better than it's felt in many years....extremely encouraging overall result so far compared to everything else I've tried. There is definitely something to this idea.

The total outlay was a couple of dollars for an organic eggplant and 88 cents for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. I'll post more results after a few weeks in that thread.

thanks to you Dan and all the experimenters here for the ideas!







Can anyone provide the eggplant/vinegar solution? THANKS!


Reply author: thanks01
Replied on: 05/11/2008 17:48:12
Message:

COPIED from my original post on this site:

Using externals to attack “the spot”:
I did not take the “kitchen sink” approach, although there were many topical applications recommended on the website that interested me. I had already tried a paste of pancreatin and found it so disruptive that I could not tell what was happening. At the time I started using the website in November there was quite a lot of discussion on using eggplant and vinegar. I read whatever I could find on the anti-cancer, apoptosis-causing properties of eggplant, and found the story about the “Devil’s Apple” in Australia and all the material about Curaderm convincing. Rather than pay for Curaderm right away, I decided on the homemade mixture and found it tolerable when applied.
Also, having never paid any attention to the idea of skin cancer before, I found that on my wrist there was a “freckle” which seemed to have elevated itself about 1/32nd of an inch and then caught on a sleeve, causing bleeding. I didn’t like the looks of that, so I put some of the eggplant mixture there with a bandage. This tiny spot seemed to be improving within days and finally became only the slightest freckle. Because of this and my reading and also because of the discussion on the forum, I decided to use the eggplant mixture and stick with that, rather than mixing a whole lot of things together or switching constantly.

Observing the Eggplant-Vinegar Mixture:
I made the eggplant-vinegar mixture pretty much as indicated on the website. I did use apple cider vinegar but I did not use organic eggplant. I puréed it the best that I could, although the seeds remained. Later on I strained the purée, which is quite timestaking with the raw eggplant, but gives a much more manageable mixture. I kept the mixture in the refrigerator most of the time, but not always. Neither leaving it out for a few days nor letting it get fairly old seem to hurt it.
I started by applying the eggplant with a bandage over the spot, ordinary easy-pull-off bandages (not the stick-tight variety), or the micropore tape, sometimes even masking tape. This worked fine on my wrist, but I found that when the bandage held the mixture near my eye either the fumes or the liquid spreading on my skin or my eyelashes spreading it caused irritation inside my eye. This was tolerable but did not seem to be a good idea.
Next I tried “swiping” the mixture over the main spot as often during the day as I could remember to do it. I think this is when I made the least progress, probably because the quantity was just too thin. Later I went back to applying a good-size “gob” of the stuff over the spot and letting it just dry in place and stay there without a bandage. As one poster to the website mentioned, it seemed that each time the dried-up remainder of the gob was removed some skin peeled off and there were signs of improvement.
Regarding the changes in the spot, as one poster said (FForest, I think), almost as soon as I started with the mixture there was increased definition in the area. My BCC (size of a dime) had at that time left the “crater” stage and gone to a “pearls” stage. After applying the eggplant mixture, these pearls became more visible and seemed to separate from the spot. Over the weeks that I continued, I would say that the “pearls” slowly shriveled, disintegrated, and peeled off, although not completely.
In the middle of the treatment I had to return to the cosmetic surgeon for some questions about the biopsy. I quit using the mixture a couple of days before so that my face would look a bit more normal. And I think it was when I resumed that I started the “gob” application. It seemed that the quantity of mixture now at times was almost too irritating. The entire area of the actual spot and perhaps some places nearby were getting quite sore and red. This is probably desirable, but it leads me to suggest what I next tried with the break for the doctor visit, namely, “taking a vacation” once in a while and letting the surrounding skin kind of catch up and be more generally healthy.
My experience overall favors the “long and slow” approach, if and when I ever have another spot like this to deal with. I understand the concern about penetrating the depth of the spot, which is not named “basal” for nothing – it comes from the base of the skin. But a gradual exfoliation, worked on constantly, with “vacations,” seems constructive to me. Someone might reply that the reason I ultimately required the operation at the end of two months is that I had not reached the depth of the cancer. And I would say yes, that is why more time would be needed, but to have gone “faster” and more destructively did not seem to be a good idea. I think that I got better progress the other way.


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 05/12/2008 11:21:05
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by atibati

Hello,

Can you say me where can I buy Efudex Cream? Maybe someone can sell it for me and then send it to Russia?


There should be several online pharmacies that can sell it to you. I believe Medsmex.com has it.
Unless Russia does not allow drugs like this to be shipped in.. Not sure of the legalities.. Good luck!


Reply author: RichardHtx
Replied on: 09/30/2008 16:58:44
Message:

To atibati: When you obtain some Efudex cream, here is how I have used it. Put a glob less than the volume of a pin head (a sphere of cream less than 0.05" in diameter) on the head of a pin. Rub it over the cancerous spot into a very, very thin layer. It should cover an area of at least 0.25" in diameter (= 6mm diameter) up to as much as 0.4" in diameter. Repeat at least once a day. Maybe twice a day is better if the area gets scrubbed off or washed clean. Application every day is fine but I've found it is not too critical, and if the area gets too sore, let it recover for a few days to a week and if the cancer has not gone, repeat. I've cleared up dozens of small cancers on my face and scalp and several on my neck with only a couple getting too sore. You don't want to overdo the treatment and break thru the skin. Stop and let the skin fully heal as you etch the cancer away thru 10 to 20 layers of skin.
Every modern doc I've asked will not prescribe it now, I think because Americans must swab on way way too thick a coating of the stuff, and end up with a bad chemical burn.
My brother was a Family Doctor and he warned me to use a tiny speck of the cream and rub it out to a very thin layer. One spot on my forehead grew too large (about 0.7" dia.) for my treatment and he numbed it, cut it away, sent the scraps to oncology, who determined it was squamous cell c.). No big deal, but perhaps $150 at a modern doctor. In about a month or so, it was healed nicely, and has never returned. The scar even went away after ten years. I think the trick was that he didn't scrape too deep and maybe was able to leave a layer or two of skin. I believe we are born with about 30 layers of skin.
Efudex was $200 a tube when I priced it here in Va. circa 2007. CanadianDrugCenter-dot-com lists a 40 gm tube for $55.15 US.


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 10/01/2008 09:24:54
Message:

Welcome Richard and thanks for your detailed description and instructions.

I know that some derms worry that you only get part of the tumor the way you are treating...especially the letting it heal and go back at it.

Nevertheless it's your experience and you know how it worked for you hopefully you are right and you got them all all the way down to bottom of the tumor

What the derms fear is that that area down below can grow basically stealth under cover and end up damaging a lot more healthy tissue than if it had been treated differently or excised.

Or subconsciously or in some cases quite purposely they are motivated by the money they make using their primitive procedures. i.e. the scalpel, freezing etc.


Reply author: mark12
Replied on: 11/25/2008 00:01:18
Message:

hello, thats really good information, and anne, do not worry, just go on with your treatment and you will be happy after!


Reply author: jenb
Replied on: 03/29/2009 15:16:08
Message:

I'm currently finishing about week two of efudex to treat aks and bccs by my eye/nose and on the bridge of my nose. I also have a bcc (hope it's not scc) on my forehead that has been burned twice by dermatologists, only to have it return. The first time it was burned they went deep and left a slight divit and there was pigment loss. I look terrible as a result of the redness and inflamation because of the efudex and am considering stopping and letting my skin heal a little. I've been using it religiously twice a day. I pile on the makeup during the day to hide and stay the heck out of the sun. I have used efudex before with great results. We got our efudex in Mexico a couple of years ago. It does last a long time and to me, is WELL worth the money. I have an aunt who will be going through a mohs procedure next week for two basals and one squamous on her nose. They aren't sure how deep they have to go and she'll probably need skin grafts afterward. My advice to all of you is treat these early, no matter how uncomfortable. Be well and good luck!


Reply author: dee2
Replied on: 04/23/2009 22:55:14
Message:

I hope you will post again and tell me how it's going. I just started 10 days ago and so far it's not TOO bad. Breaking out in neon pink spots on the nose, around my nose, mouth, mostly. The rest of the skin does not seem to effected yet. No overall redness. Some around my mouth have begun to weep a little and others are getting scally. I do try to cover it during the day with make-up but it's getting harder.


Reply author: queenslander
Replied on: 04/25/2009 17:29:56
Message:

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.


Reply author: dee2
Replied on: 04/25/2009 21:26:56
Message:

thank you for sharing that. my skin continues to redden and it feels like I have bad burns on my face.


Reply author: emu lady
Replied on: 05/30/2009 22:59:11
Message:

Hi, Along with my husband we own a emu oil processing plant. I have been using Efudex for almost 2 weeks. I have been taking pictures also. I went to the doctor with 2 spots on my face and he said skin cancer, use Efudex for 2 weeks. The nurse said to use it over my whole face just in case. I now have sores and redness all over my face. So embarrassing although I try not to pay attention. I plan on using our Ultra emu oil and mositurizer as soon as I am done with this. 3 more days, YEAH!!!!!! I know emu oil will work. Just make sure the emu oil that you use is AEA certified. That is the only guarantee that the emu oil you are using has been certifed to reach the trade rules for fully refined emu oil.

quote:
Originally posted by alelks

Hello everyone. I just ran across this site.

My complexion is pretty much the same as the gentleman with link posted above. I am in my 7th day of Efudex treatment and for the last couple of days I have been experiencing the sunburn like pain and the damaged areas are showing up like neon. I am using the Efudex on my entire scalp, forehead, cheaks nose and ears. This is going to be fun (not really).

For some reason my Dermatologist only has me being treated for 2 weeks.

I'm looking at options for my "after treatment" to help alleviate some of the dryness and discomfort. I just ordered some pure Emu Oil and was wondering if anyone has thought of trying this as a moisturizer. I have been using the Blu-emu for a couple of months to help alleviate dry skin on the top of my head (it's bald up there) and it works great with no greasy feeling.

AL


Reply author: dan
Replied on: 06/01/2009 00:58:08
Message:

Emu lady, thanks for the post. The Efudex experience is not much fun. Please let us know if emu oil helps your healing. BTW, there have been testimonials on the internet regarding emu oil clearing up skin cancer all by itself. Did you happen to give emu oil a try before seeing the dermatologist? I also wonder if Efudex and emu oil combined might be beneficial.


Reply author: Susan Bauer
Replied on: 06/19/2009 17:22:49
Message:

This is my first time on this topic line. I also have been dealing with skin problems for 20 years. I have had Mohs surgeries,(none on my face) on my hands, feet, legs and am now using efudex (fluorouracil) on my legs. I first used it on my arms and chest (eight weeks), what a sight!! Misery for sure - done with that and I am better. My legs are a different story. I have been using efudex for four weeks and the derm wants me to use it for another 2 months. I am sooo tired of using, that I am almost desperate. Has anyone had swelling while on the rx? My ankles and feet and legs are swollen. I am nervous about it going into my system, as I have used efudex for a very long time. Two days ago I stopped putting it on and my swelling went down. Do I go back on it? The derm told me that it could cause depression - yep that too. I am reading about Emu Oil, did the derm recommend it? How do you use it? Please if anyone has anything to help, I am open. Thanks


Reply author: Summer5644
Replied on: 01/15/2010 11:31:35
Message:

Hello,

I just finished my Efudex treatment (two weeks) on my cheeks and temples. I have to say it has been the most agonizing pain I have ever felt. Somehow, the cream managed to move up my cheek and got onto my eyelids which caused major iritation and swelling.

Vaseline was very helpful during this time. I kept the skin moisturized and reduced the burning sensation.

Now that I am finished with the Efudex my dermatologist prescribed Hydrotone which is a vaseline based hydrocortizone cream 2.5%. I put it on last night and my husband and I could not believe the change it made within a few hours. The inflamation has already been reduced and the burning is gone. There is still a good deal of itchiness, but the cream helps elminate some of it.

Also, if anyone who is taking it is having trouble sleeping during treatment the best thing I found is Benadryl. It knocks you out and helps some of the symptoms.

Just some tips for anyone who is or may need to use this form of treatment again. According to my doctor, skin cancer will likely be an on going problem for me due to the amount of sun damage I have done to myself thanks to tanning beds and years of sunbathing.

Good luck and hang in there to anyone is using Efudex. I am pretty hopeful that in the end it will be for the best!


Reply author: dan
Replied on: 01/16/2010 12:01:56
Message:

Thanks Summer5644! Your practical tips should be helpful to many and I hope your Efudex treatment will work to prevent skin cancers later. I just wanted to add that my doctor said skin cancer would be an ongoing problem for me also. He was right, but nine years later, I doubt I would hear the same counsel. The many little steps I have taken toward skin cancer prevention have made a enormous difference in my skin health, whereas the expectation was my skin health would further deteriorate over time. By skin cancer prevention I mean employing various nutrition strategies as I really have not used sunscreens but for a few times over those years.


Reply author: NaturalSAHM
Replied on: 01/16/2010 17:18:26
Message:

Dan, would you mind giving us some detail about what you're doing (or not doing) these days as far as diet, supplements, etc? I know you've mentioned some things in the past but I'm sure you've tweaked it here and there. Just curious. Thanks!!


Reply author: SunDevil
Replied on: 01/18/2010 17:09:57
Message:

I have been using Efudex for 13 days now on my arms and legs for AK with little noticeable reaction. My arms feel sunburned and a bit itchy but not much else. I have been applying cream 2x daily, regular dosage times. Has anyone else experienced this delayed reaction time?


Reply author: dan
Replied on: 01/21/2010 23:54:43
Message:

NaturalSAHM, thanks for asking, see the sticky post in the Skin Cancer Prevention Forum http://www.topicalinfo.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=54 for a quick general overview. The supplements I take are not real consistent over time, but lately it is a multivitamin (Source Natural Life Force no iron just 1 tablet instead of the 2 suggested), Coenzyme Q10 100mg, Trader Joe's Omega 3, astaxanthin, vitamin K2, 3000 IU vitamin D, 500mg vitamin C complex, magnesium, and grape seed extract 200mg. At night I take 3mg melatonin and sometimes Source Naturals Pancreatin 8X. For breakfast I often have yogurt mixed with ground flaxseed (part of the Budwig protocol). I look for organic produce, cage free eggs, organic butter. I try to routinely do most of the things I wrote about in the forum post. It all seems to be working for me.


Reply author: richnjannsarah
Replied on: 05/01/2010 08:09:49
Message:

Hi,
I have used the efudex for an extra 5 days after reading that at least 4 weeks treatment would be necessary and previous 4 week treatments still had the lesions appearing at the 4 week point.
my face healed quickly to a degree after stopping the treatment.
But I still have redness on my face which is there 2 months after the treatment stopped-and its not getting better.
I appreciate this may now be a chemical burn caused by overuse of the cream.
My dermatoligist seems to be at a loss as to how/if the redness can be treated.He has prescribed an anti biotic,Tetralysal 300.He thinks the blood cells are damages causing blood to leak out into my face and thus making the red patches go even redder.
Am I now stuck with these red patches , which get redder with heat/exercise or can anything be done?
I fear it is too late.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Richard


Reply author: tim3236
Replied on: 05/11/2010 16:36:08
Message:

I am a male 66 yrs old living in Fl I have had many precancer cell removed over the years by freezing them I went to the Dr and she gave me a choice I could freeze them again or use Efudex I chose efudex after seeing what it does to you I am having second thoughts also thinking of using the efudex in small areas at a time and eventually doing the entire face has any one ever usedit inthat way are there any reasons not to do it that way.
Thanks for any help this stuff is really powerful stuff
Tim3236


Reply author: gary.wright
Replied on: 12/13/2010 03:59:16
Message:

Hi tim3236
I used Efudex about 6 months ago on my just about my whole face(male 58). I have a history of skin cancers (frozen and cut out). Treatment was twice a day for 2 weeks. The process is uncomfortable and a bit painful towards the end and is very unsightly. But it really works. The results for me were great and I considered it worth the pain and hassle.
I took a break for a few months and now am a week into doing my arms. I saw a lot of forums on Efudex before my first treatment so I knew what was coming. People have different experiences and different reactions to the process but just about everyone says that the results are good. By the way I had some hemorrhoids cut out about a month ago - that's real pain and I would rather do the Efudex than repeat that one.
Good luck
Regards
Gary


Reply author: Bryan Kravitz
Replied on: 01/09/2011 23:00:05
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by anne

i have cancer all over my arms and chest. It is squamous cell and its very bad. I have had 9 surgeries. This is my third week on efudex and i am so sick and miserable. Does anyone know if this is worth it? Will it be gone after 6 weeks? I feel i can not take much more . I am so depressed.


Reply author: Bryan Kravitz
Replied on: 01/09/2011 23:07:02
Message:

My friend who has stopped using Efudex about a week ago and then began using the Golden Salve by Equinox Biotanicals and she now is doing much better. I know where to get The Golden Salve.

quote:
Originally posted by gary.wright

Hi tim3236
I used Efudex about 6 months ago on my just about my whole face(male 58). I have a history of skin cancers (frozen and cut out). Treatment was twice a day for 2 weeks. The process is uncomfortable and a bit painful towards the end and is very unsightly. But it really works. The results for me were great and I considered it worth the pain and hassle.
I took a break for a few months and now am a week into doing my arms. I saw a lot of forums on Efudex before my first treatment so I knew what was coming. People have different experiences and different reactions to the process but just about everyone says that the results are good. By the way I had some hemorrhoids cut out about a month ago - that's real pain and I would rather do the Efudex than repeat that one.
Good luck
Regards
Gary


Reply author: samdi230
Replied on: 01/13/2011 15:29:11
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Bryan Kravitz

quote:
Originally posted by anne

i have cancer all over my arms and chest. It is squamous cell and its very bad. I have had 9 surgeries. This is my third week on efudex and i am so sick and miserable. Does anyone know if this is worth it? Will it be gone after 6 weeks? I feel i can not take much more . I am so depressed.



hi I'm not a DR I'm a patient like you .I have surf all cure treatment on the web
I tray what make seance to me . I cure my salf by what it call 35% food grade H2o2
delite it by distlete water 1 part of H2o2 and 11 part of distelet water soak a cotton bole and play the wound by this mix 1/11. 10 to 15 time a day. You will be cure in lass then a week.


Reply author: honebone
Replied on: 01/27/2011 20:16:44
Message:

I've found the worst part of the Efudex experience to be the recovery period; if you want to avoid cracking, burning and itching after you've stopped using Efudex, use A&D ointment. Just slather it on whatever area is bothering you and the relief is almost instantaneous...of course your face looks very greasy while it's on but who cares!


Reply author: bmir439
Replied on: 02/07/2011 14:47:20
Message:

I was just diagnosed with bcc on my legs and actinec keratoses on my chest and have been prescribed Efudex. So far I've been told to use for two weeks and schedule an appt with my gp after that two weeks (dumb me didn't think to ask why). This sounds like it's supposed to be bad....will I be able to wear clothing over my chest while this is taking place? Has anyone had that problem?


Reply author: rovin
Replied on: 02/13/2011 11:43:24
Message:

I just finished my first two weeks fluorouracil 5% over my face and bald scalp. My doctor told me it would feel like a sunburn. Didnt say "like the worst sunburn you could ever imagine"
My face turned bright red after about 4 days and the area around my nose soon after became swollen and cracked. Very painful. My scalp was nowhere near as painful or red.
I am now starting another two weeks of fluocinolone acetonide .025. Can I expect some relief from the pain and swelling shortly? Is this just a less powerful version of the first treatment?
The vaseline sounds like a good idea. Do I need to wait two hours after using the cream to apply it? I tried using moisturizer once. It was agonizing and the stinging lasted for an hour or more before it subsided to the "normal" pain level .
Thank you to all that posted their experiences and suggestions. My sister is talking about trying 5fu. I am afraid to tell her of the full extent of the pain I experienced. Sounds like most suffer from substantial pain. Is this true? Should I tell her what to possibly expect?

I have completed the treatment and am pleased with the results. I had not been prepared by the Dr. for the intensity of the discomfort, and it took me by surprise. I would hope the next time I am required to do this the level of damage to my skin will have been lessened, and so also the degree of treatment discomfort.


Reply author: samdi230
Replied on: 02/27/2011 18:24:24
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by anne

i have cancer all over my arms and chest. It is squamous cell and its very bad. I have had 9 surgeries. This is my third week on efudex and i am so sick and miserable. Does anyone know if this is worth it? Will it be gone after 6 weeks? I feel i can not take much more . I am so depressed.



hi I have good news for you get a food grad %35 h2o2 delete it with destitute water 1 part of h2o2  to 11 parts of water [ wear a robber gloves when you mix it] now sock cotton swob and play this mix only on the wound of yours now you will see a fuss on the wound that the cancer is dying apply this mix 12 to 15 time a day in mean time inhale this mix 3 time a day you be surprise how fast you well heal. When you got better spreed the world . To buy H2o2 go to farmer supply or nutrition stores .or on line good luck.


Reply author: jackiew
Replied on: 03/08/2011 14:30:39
Message:

This sounds like it's supposed to be bad....will I be able to wear clothing over my chest while this is taking place? Has anyone had that problem?
[/quote]


Sounds like you started your treatment 1 week before me. I started on Feb 14th. I have SCC and had a lump on my cheed removed so this Efodex is my next step to recovery. My doctor told me 2x day for 3 weeks. Was wondering why each person seems to be told a different length of time. How does 3 weeks manage to do the same result as say 4 or 5 weeks? Does anyone happen to know that answer?

I am doing my face in quartely sections, not sure why the doctor told me to do this other than maybe she thought my whole face at once was to hard on me. Finished me forhead on Monday, now on to my one cheek. I have not yet suffered any real pain like others are saying they had. Just now is red, raised blistered and ugly, but not too much pain.


Reply author: jackiew
Replied on: 03/08/2011 14:58:20
Message:

was wondering if any one has ever used celestoderm v cream to help reduce redness and burning AFTER the efodex treatment is done.It is a cream used for swelling, itching burning for skin conditions ( betamethasone valerate)


Reply author: David P.
Replied on: 03/16/2011 13:30:41
Message:

Just finished a 2 week efudex treatment on my whole face. I had nothing on my forehead or chin but had several AK's on my cheeks,nose and between my eyes and sideburns. My dermatologist prescribed Desonide which I'm finding to help the healing process. I've had many treatments with liquid nitrogen and I sure hope this treatment and my change of way's(respect of the sun) will keep me out of the doctors chair except for checkups.


Reply author: David P.
Replied on: 03/25/2011 22:47:50
Message:

It's been 3 week's and 3 day's since I started Efudex and my face is completely healed. If you have been told to do this treatment do it, it is well worth it.


Reply author: suesie2000
Replied on: 04/05/2011 02:52:28
Message:

I am currently on week two of Efudix 5%. I look terrible and it feels terrible as well. Have way more skin cancers on my face than I realised. I am supposed to keep applying the cream for another week but my skin is broken, sore and pussie in places that I don't know if I should. I will be pleased when it is all over and I can go out in public again. Luckily I have a makeup that is like spac filler for covering up the damage. LOL


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 04/14/2011 05:08:06
Message:

Hi Suesie 2000, We are just across the ocean from you in South Africa and I am in the same stage of efudex treatment as your good self - day 17 for me. My face looks like something out of the chamber of horrors - a human raw hamburger.

It all started with a couple of little dry patches on my cheeks that would not go away. I went to see the Doc and then a Derm and was told it was Solar Keratosis and if I had left it a year or so I would have had skin cancer. Right now I am feeling near on suicidal -I keep wondering if I will ever look normal again. Anyway, I went down to the pharmacy yesterday because one of the pharmacists has done the Efudex treatment himself. I got no sympathy whatsoever - I was asked if I wanted the good news or the bad news. So I opeted for the bad news - I was told that it would get worse. So I asked what the good news was and was told that once treament was complete my face would be as smooth as a baby's bum. So there is light at the end of the tunnel! Ciao Uncle Paul


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 04/19/2011 00:26:25
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 04/24/2011 07:24:41
Message:

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


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 04/28/2011 01:05:09
Message:

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.


Reply author: thanks01
Replied on: 04/29/2011 17:24:40
Message:

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!


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 04/29/2011 20:43:44
Message:

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?


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 04/30/2011 07:06:42
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 04/30/2011 08:16:32
Message:

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


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 04/30/2011 08:35:42
Message:

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


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 04/30/2011 08:40:02
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 04/30/2011 10:48:47
Message:

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!


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 05/01/2011 03:12:36
Message:

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!


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/01/2011 07:04:11
Message:

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


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 05/01/2011 19:11:17
Message:

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!


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 05/01/2011 19:21:48
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/02/2011 02:10:37
Message:

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


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 05/02/2011 21:24:50
Message:

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.


Reply author: sparkih
Replied on: 05/02/2011 21:31:09
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/08/2011 12:19:27
Message:

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


Reply author: mickapoo
Replied on: 05/08/2011 21:07:40
Message:

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!


Reply author: mickapoo
Replied on: 05/08/2011 21:09:51
Message:

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!


Reply author: miki333
Replied on: 05/16/2011 10:13:40
Message:

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


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/16/2011 12:43:51
Message:

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


Reply author: mjpinner
Replied on: 05/19/2011 23:45:08
Message:

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?


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/20/2011 02:43:39
Message:

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


Reply author: Maraika
Replied on: 05/21/2011 03:01:39
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/21/2011 03:45:05
Message:

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


Reply author: Maraika
Replied on: 05/21/2011 06:05:06
Message:

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.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 05/21/2011 10:50:49
Message:

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


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 05/22/2011 01:42:06
Message:

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!


Reply author: adm
Replied on: 05/22/2011 05:42:02
Message:

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!


Reply author: adm
Replied on: 05/22/2011 05:57:58
Message:

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.


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 05/23/2011 08:59:58
Message:

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


Reply author: Nelson
Replied on: 05/25/2011 01:48:43
Message:

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.


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 05/25/2011 02:34:45
Message:

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.


Reply author: Maraika
Replied on: 06/04/2011 00:49:37
Message:

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!!


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 06/16/2011 08:43:38
Message:

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.


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 07/20/2011 16:52:41
Message:

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?


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 07/20/2011 19:18:37
Message:

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!


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 07/21/2011 00:28:38
Message:

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.


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 07/21/2011 10:52:16
Message:

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?


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 07/21/2011 14:29:23
Message:

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!


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 07/21/2011 14:34:43
Message:

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.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 07/21/2011 14:45:40
Message:

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.


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 07/21/2011 14:55:57
Message:

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


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 07/21/2011 19:51:34
Message:

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!


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 07/21/2011 20:03:27
Message:

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!


Reply author: JennT
Replied on: 07/25/2011 11:07:43
Message:

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.


Reply author: SherylWA
Replied on: 08/16/2011 00:42:59
Message:

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!


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 08/16/2011 04:00:10
Message:

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!


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 08/16/2011 10:05:03
Message:

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?


Reply author: JennT
Replied on: 08/16/2011 16:58:53
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by FlaLadyB

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?



You can contact the manufacturer of the product. In some cases they can give you discounts or tell you the best place to purchase at a discounted rate. Chain's such as WalMart, Kroger, Target, etc have great generic discount programs and may be able to offer assistance. I am using the generic this time and is working the same as the brand name.

I am using twice daily on my face and chest for 6 weeks. Yesterday I started my 4th week and opened my 2nd tube.


Reply author: SherylWA
Replied on: 08/16/2011 22:06:59
Message:

Thank you so much Uncle Paul. Now on day 3 and nothing much has happened. My Dr didn't go into much detail on this treatment, so just by reading the comments on this site I am now better informed on the issues that will arise. I have taken 5 weeks off work so hopefully this will all be over by then.



Reply author: Gideonwolf
Replied on: 08/17/2011 15:13:59
Message:

I just want to say thanks to all who posted here
I live in Denver and have Squamos cell carcenoma.
I started Efudex treatment 3 weeks ago and found this site at that time.
the first week was easy, the second the itching started and third was about the same except for when applying the Efudex...tough to put it on during that 3rd week. Twice a day.
Finished last night, and now face is peeeling, blotchy, and red..

Anyone know if the red should be uniform across the whole face?
How long for the healing process?
Interesting that my nose was solid red and not my whole forhead


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 08/17/2011 18:44:49
Message:

Gideonwolf, I understand that the active ingredient of Efudex is cell poison (cytotoxic) which is selectively taken up by the cells duplicating themselves the fastest (ie the cancerous and pre-cancerous ones). The amount of redness and blotches depends on how many precancerous cells you had and how long you apply the cream. In my case the blotches were mostly on my forehead and left hand side. I also found the blotches went down quite quickly and were barely visible after three weeks. I used a mild cortisone cream for the first week and Dermaveen moisturiser afterwards. Good luck and thanks again to Dan the site designer and host (I think)


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 08/17/2011 18:56:53
Message:

Hi again FlatladyB. I can't let your post go by! Efudex at $350 a tube? In Australia it cost me about $15 with a doctor's prescription. The active ingredient of Efudex (Fluorouracil) is one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs and was patented in the 50's so any patents have long expired surely. The US health system really needs a shake up if Efudex at $350 is an outcome!


Reply author: Gideonwolf
Replied on: 08/17/2011 19:09:56
Message:

I went through the same thing - not much happened the first 5 or 6 days - most of it started up the second week


Reply author: Irishgirl
Replied on: 08/18/2011 18:52:58
Message:

Hello, I am on Day One of 6 to 8 weeks Efudex treatment for "superficial" SCC on my chest. It is a samll spot and i think i can handle the ugly blistering etc as I just had about 30 AK frozen off of my face, hands and arms and I still look awful. However, I am totally freaked out about what this stuff will do internally to my healthy cells. I have read really scary stuff about Aldara and wonder how similar it is to Efudex. Doesn't 6 to 8 weeks seem long for something the derm said was "very early" and superficial? Has anyone tried "Perrin's Cream" for AK's or SCC with any success? Is it a type of Black Salve? Thank you so much for any insight. I know that this will probably not be the last diagnosis of BCC or SCC due to the number of AKs but I would like to stick to the natural route as I freak out taking an asprin.


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 10/14/2011 21:10:45
Message:

For those of you who are new to Efudex I would highly recommend reading the insert which comes with the cream. I have been using this cream for several years on different areas of my face. Have learned a few tricks in the process. I try to focus on one small area at a time. When it starts to look too unsightly, I cover it with a bandage (perfectly acceptable according to the insert) when I need to be out it public. Make sure the bandage fits loosely over the area avoiding the adhesive sticking to the wound. Since I focus on one area at a time I sleep on the other side of my face to avoid bleeding which avoids prolonging the healing time.
I have found thru experience that the wound will tell me when I can stop applying the ointment. When a scab forms, cease the Efudex.
Withing 2-3 weeks the scab will start to drop from the area. After the scab is gone apply Aquaphor (OTC) to the affected area to promote healing.
I never use any product other than Efudex on the spot I am treating once I have begun the process. While it may be uncomfortable during the 3-6 weeks of dealing with ak or bcc I am so grateful to have this alternative to surgery.


Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 10/15/2011 03:17:22
Message:

Uncle Paul with the information you give your positivity is great. and also the rest of you who give information. I have question my Derm told me to talk the Efudex for 3 to 4 weeks how do you know if you should stop at 3 weeks. Im an American in the Philippines 42 retired early so its easy for me to take the medicine. I'm on day 15 and it is red itchy and burning.


Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 10/15/2011 03:31:09
Message:

Hello Uncle Paul your information is very positive. im on day 15 and it is red itchy and burning the doctor said 3 weeks or 4 weeks how do I know if i should stop at 3 weeks.

quote:
Originally posted by uncle paul

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!




Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 10/15/2011 06:20:49
Message:

Hi Gebgeroboys,
Thanks your kind comments re the treatment. I cannot advise you on the 3-week or 4-week options because I am not qualified to do so. My Derm told me 3-weeks applying Efudex twice daily. By the time day 20 had arrived I was counting the hours to my last application - at that stage I don't think that I could have gone on any further. However, I did apply a soothing cream called Traumeel thereafter and a week or so later I started to look and feel much better. I guess if you have enough Efudex cream left and can handle another week after day 21 then that's probably the way to go. The bottom line is that the treatment really does work and I am now 6-months down the line without a blemish on the previously affected parts of my face. I have to go back to the Derm next year April but would have no hesitation whatsoever to using Efudex again if I had to. Good luck with the next week or so - it's not pleasant but it's nice to know that it is only a temporary discomfort - so go for it!


Reply author: BigD
Replied on: 10/15/2011 22:33:31
Message:

For all those using efudex please have a look at the petty spurge thread, a natural plant solution with far superior results. I have used both and will only use Petty Spurge from now on


Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 10/19/2011 05:51:10
Message:

I talk to my Derm she said i can stop after 21 days I have 3 more days but it burns and itches and hurts so bad i want to stop so annoyingits driving me crazy is it suppose to feel like this.

quote:
Originally posted by uncle paul

Hi Gebgeroboys,
Thanks your kind comments re the treatment. I cannot advise you on the 3-week or 4-week options because I am not qualified to do so. My Derm told me 3-weeks applying Efudex twice daily. By the time day 20 had arrived I was counting the hours to my last application - at that stage I don't think that I could have gone on any further. However, I did apply a soothing cream called Traumeel thereafter and a week or so later I started to look and feel much better. I guess if you have enough Efudex cream left and can handle another week after day 21 then that's probably the way to go. The bottom line is that the treatment really does work and I am now 6-months down the line without a blemish on the previously affected parts of my face. I have to go back to the Derm next year April but would have no hesitation whatsoever to using Efudex again if I had to. Good luck with the next week or so - it's not pleasant but it's nice to know that it is only a temporary discomfort - so go for it!


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 10/19/2011 10:40:19
Message:

Hi Gebgeroboys,
Yup, all the way! That's why I said that I could not hang in after day 21! Having come so far it would be inadvisable to chuck just when the end is in sight. If you did so you might later regret not having completed the treatment. So all I can say is just grit your teeth and pray for the dawn of day 21! Recovery is pretty quick thereafter and just not having to put on the Edufex is a relief in itself. Good luck my friend, just comfort yourself that it just gets better and better once the treatment is complete.


Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 10/21/2011 23:52:37
Message:

I made it 21 days today was the last time I put it on Efudex so happy. What will happen next will it peel or scab will my face still hurt burn and itch how long do you think. Thank you for all the info your very kind.

quote:
Originally posted by uncle paul

Hi Gebgeroboys,
Yup, all the way! That's why I said that I could not hang in after day 21! Having come so far it would be inadvisable to chuck just when the end is in sight. If you did so you might later regret not having completed the treatment. So all I can say is just grit your teeth and pray for the dawn of day 21! Recovery is pretty quick thereafter and just not having to put on the Edufex is a relief in itself. Good luck my friend, just comfort yourself that it just gets better and better once the treatment is complete.


Reply author: uncle paul
Replied on: 10/22/2011 00:43:10
Message:

Hi Gebgeroboys,
Well done, that's showing true grit! Well, first of all just think that you will not have to put on Efudex again - ever! (hopefully) I used a soothing ointment Traumeel by HEEL German manufacturer - it's actually designed for sports injuries. It was suggested by my pharmacist, who had himself taken a 6-week course of Efudex and reckoned that it worked well for him. However, there are alternatives suggested on this site so scroll down and see what you can get locallyu. After about a week you will start to notice good changes and the discomfort will fade rapidly. The great thing to remember is that you get a bit better every day. After about 3-weeks or so you will start to look and feel like a film star. Oh yes, don't forget the SPF50+ sunblock and the big hat when out in the sun.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 10/24/2011 19:48:01
Message:

Hi everyone,

I wrote back in the early summer. I just started my Efudex treatment yesterday on my scalp and forehead (for a month) with the rest of my face to start next week (for 3 weeks).

So far nothing out of the ordinary but some itching.... but I know it's only two days so far ;-)

I have an appointment scheduled with my Dermo on November 1st when I hope to get a handful of prescriptions for Aquaphor and some anti-itch cream.

I don't know how work is going to go but not much time to worry. It looks like I may be moving house during the month of November so I'll have plenty to keep me busy!


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 10/24/2011 20:24:13
Message:

The good news is that Aquaphor is sold over the counter and therefore no prescription is needed. I think you will find the itching dissapears once the scab is gone. Having a loose fitting bandage on the area also allows you to do a little touching of the wound when the itching starts driving you crazy!


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 10/24/2011 21:09:18
Message:

I'm in Canada and asked the pharmacist the other day about it.
She said I needed a prescription for it, but that it seemed (according to her computer) to be much like Vaseline. (?!)

It's odd the differences between countries. My favorite back pain meds are only by prescription in the US but off the shelf here. A half decent corticosteriod creme over 1% and you need a prescription for it.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense.


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 10/25/2011 08:11:32
Message:

It also doesnt make sense when Efudex costs about $300 a tube here (without insurance) and someone else can get it for $25...


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 10/25/2011 10:11:47
Message:

The Aquaphor that I use is made by Eucerin which makes several ointments sold over the counter in the US. You might want to ask your pharmacist if this is the same product she is referring to. It does feel similar to vaseline so you can do no harm in using that first to see if you get relief from the skin irritation.


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 10/25/2011 19:10:40
Message:

The active ingredient of Aquaphor is petrolatum. As I understand it this is also an ingredient of Vaseline and basically seals the area so the skin can heal itself. I used a mild cortisone cream (1%) for a week and then Dermaveen moisturiser and was very happy with the result.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 10/28/2011 14:08:46
Message:

I DID EFUDEX !! I have to put my 2 cents in - I was 47 and requested the Dermatologist prescribe Efudex. She was amazed because no one had ever volunteered to do this. I'm fare skin, blonde and male. I applied it twice per day for 30 days. In retrospect I wish I did 6 weeks. I had a great outcome. It's been over 5 years now and I have a few freckles that have popped up and some lines, but still look better than I did 5 years ago before Efudex, which in all honesty wasn't that bad to begin with. I had some flaky (what was called) basal cell on the bridge of my nose on which a previous 4 attempts to freeze failed. Since Efudex, to this day, it has not returned. Sure it was a little rough toughing out the 30 days but take your bleeping medicine and get the bleeping job done. Because I did this I might just never know the melanoma that never killed me. And actually, I had melanoma on the neck. During Efudex it lit up. A few years later a freckle persisted at this spot which the Dr's told me was nothing, but I trusted what Efudex was trying to tell me two years earlier and demanded it be biopsied. Long story short it was all the way to the deepest layers of skin. I narrowly escaped. If I had hit it with Efudex for 60 days I bet you a million bucks I would have killed it and never known the difference. Efudex is a godsend. What a gift. See it as this and be thankful we have been given such a marvelous drug. The option of not having this drug ain't so great.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 10/31/2011 22:18:38
Message:

I just thought I'd pop in with an update as I just started week 2 of treatment.
There were a couple of days last week where I was nauseous. I'm not sure if thats Efudex related or maybe a flu bug doing around.

My forehead looks very angry (but for some reason, looks at its' worst in the morning and seems to calm down during the day.

The interesting thing is that I can see where my hairline used to be (so I'm thinking maybe most of the damage was done back when I still had some hair on my head) The top of my head/scalp hasn't been as bad as I expected, despite walking around with a shaved head for 20 years.

I'm on day 3 of doing the rest of my face and haven't seen any spots light up yet, but I know they're there. I see a spot or two on my ears as well.

The pain is tolerable so far... or maybe I'm just used to it. Again, it seems to be the worst in the morning when you start moving the muscles in your forehead (I should have done Botox first! LOL) . Gradually being less sore as the day goes on. I'm hanging in there!

I started a blog documenting my progress but haven't been keeping up with it, for a number of reasons. Perhaps I will complete it once I'm finished treatment.


Reply author: kidmore
Replied on: 11/02/2011 16:59:22
Message:

I am new on this forum (67 yrs-old). My dermatologist just prescribed Efudex cream mixed with 1%hydrocortisone cream in equal parts; to apply on lesions once daily, at bedtime, for 1 month. Has any one heard of that? The doctor warned me of the unpleasant effects. Having searched the internet and seen the pictures of very raw-looking foreheads or faces, I decided, as my first experience with this medication, that I'll start by applying the cream on a few single spots at a time. I'm on my day 2. I'm a bit depressed, as I didn't realize the diagnosis for which I was prescribed this cream related to skin cancer. To contribute to my feeling down is that I've also stopped drinking coffee as I want to cut down on all foods that are stimulants chocolate, sugar, etc.. to help my skin...


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/03/2011 09:49:12
Message:

Hello and welcome Kidmore.

So your Dr. never told you about it being chemo in a tube either. This seems to be a common occurrence. Mine didn't either.

Yes it's depressing, but the good thing is you're being proactive about it. I found out I was being treated for skin cancer in the Costco parking lot after Googling this stuff he prescribed.

I have heard of the once daily application routine, but it was usually for a longer period of time.

I'm not a Dr. but if you enjoy having a cup of coffee or a bit of chocolate, and it'll make you feel better, I don't see the harm in that. Did your Doctor tell you not to eat/drink these things?

My Dr. made no mention of anything I should not be eating/drinking. I don't normally drink coffee, but I am these days.


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 11/03/2011 18:42:32
Message:

Hi Deruo and Kidmore. Neither my dermatologist or my GP in Australia and PNG mentioned this was chemo either. Must be something they are taught at med school.

I am treating a spot on an ear that has been frozen unsuccessfully twice. Seems to be going well after two weeks.

As for sugar and coffee, I'd suggest giving up sucrose/sugar and especially fructose, or limiting them, as soon as you can. Coffee however is associated with reduced skin cancer (see thread on this site). Mercola.com has lots on both topics. Good luck and thanks again Dan.


Reply author: kidmore
Replied on: 11/04/2011 16:12:53
Message:

Thank you Longdrop and Deruo for your response and also all the others, I find this forum helpful. I'm getting over my coffee craving: the trouble for me with coffee is that I like it with sugar. I prepared a series of questions to ask my dermatologist, one of them being: is there a relationship with the acnea rosacea (which is what I was supposed to have before) and my current diagnosis. Is cancer an acnea rosacea gone wrong? Or do I now have two conditions: the rosacea and the cancer? I'm resisting the cancer diagnosis since the dermatologist did not pronounce the word cancer. Also, shouldn't a biopsy be done before confirming skin cancer? Anyway, I'm proceeding with the daily application on 4 spots (tonite will be day 5), so far no visible changes.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/04/2011 16:30:21
Message:

It's quite possible that he's treating you for pre-cancerous spots called "actinic keratosis" or "solar keratosis". Do either of these terms sound familiar?
Either way, it took close to a week for my forehead to start getting its spots, and day 6 for my face to start showing spots, and thats with 2 applications daily.
For a while there I thought I got a bad batch of Efudex because nothing was happening. It is now!


Reply author: kidmore
Replied on: 11/04/2011 17:17:15
Message:

yes, actinic keratosis is what it's said on the referral note from GP to dermatologist.


Reply author: steellassie
Replied on: 11/04/2011 20:16:12
Message:

I am so grateful to have found this forum. Like many of you, I've gone thru various treatments up to and including Mohs surgery for squamous cell lesions. I will begin efudex & retin-a 2-Xs daily for 3 weeks at the end of the month. I know sun damage played a role in getting me to this place but I also wonder whether asbestos exposure from 30 yrs ago could have also figured in. I worked for 8yrs. as a blast furnace welder and wore company issued asbestos gloves. We also used asbestos coated welding rods back then. The squamous lesions started on the top of both hands and included the webbing between my fingers and skin up to the 2nd knuckle. Over time, they progressed up my arms to the elbow area. The large, men sized gloves completely covered my skin to this point. If anyone out there has seen or heard of any skin connection to asbestos exposure I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thank you again for developing this wonderful sharing site where we can all learn and benefit from the encouragement it provides.


Reply author: steellassie
Replied on: 11/04/2011 20:46:29
Message:

Hello to all. I will be starting efudex & retin-a at the end of this month for lesions on my hands and arms. I know sun damage played a role in getting me to this point. I also have wondered whether asbestos exposure from 30 yrs ago as a welder could have also figured in. We wore company issued asbestos gloves back then and also welded with asbestos rods. The site of my squamous lesions began on both hands including the webbing between fingers and the skin up to the second knuckle. In time it progressed up to the elbow area. If anyone has info regarding asbestos and if it relates to skin cancer I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thank you for developing this wonderful site.


Reply author: steellassie
Replied on: 11/04/2011 21:42:12
Message:

Hello to all. I will be starting efudex & retin-a at the end of this month for lesions on my hands and arms. I know sun damage played a role in getting me to this point. I also have wondered whether asbestos exposure from 30 yrs ago as a welder could have also figured in. We wore company issued asbestos gloves back then and also welded with asbestos rods. The site of my squamous lesions began on both hands including the webbing between fingers and the skin up to the second knuckle. In time it progressed up to the elbow area. If anyone has info regarding asbestos and if it relates to skin cancer I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thank you for developing this wonderful site.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/10/2011 15:54:05
Message:

I'm on day 19 today.
I don't know if I can take another week of applying this stuff twice a day. My skin is raw and the pain in my forehead is unbelievable. Aquaphor helps, but you have to endure 2 hours of not having it on before you can apply it.

I finally found some Aquaphor here in Toronto (at Shoppers Drug Mart and apparently London Drugs in Canada also carries it.

My dermo told me to do 30 days on my forehead. But he also said that when I get blistering that I should quit - not necessarily wait until day 30. I've been doing Aquaphor and Tylenol but it's just not helping that much. I'm miserable and want to quit.

Getting an appointment with a dermatologist is almost impossible here. You either get one that tries to sell Botox or other treatments, or someone who is never available (like my guy) He only said he wanted to see me about 2 months after I finished treatment (Feb)

Any suggestions or hints on how to get through the next week to ten days?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/10/2011 16:01:45
Message:

Also, someone mentioned upthread about the various treatment times that we all seem to have been given, 2 weeks, 21 days, 30 days, 28 days. I looked and I never saw it addressed.

Does anyone know why the treatment times vary so much and is there a difference?


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 11/10/2011 19:51:04
Message:

Hi Deruo. I don't know why the doctors recommend different treatment times but mine was 21 days and I quit on day 19 in consultation with my GP. I had had several BCC cut off my head, one Bowen's off my neck and one SCC. I also had several patches of keratoses on my face. The dermatologist did show me pictures of people undergoing the treatment, including one where he said the man had gone for too long. The picture showed his face almost entirely red if that helps. The Efudex literature I have see seems to suggest that for the face 21 days at twice a day is the common prescription. Hope that helps!


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 11/10/2011 20:29:55
Message:

Hi Deruo,
I also think 19 days are enough. I waited until the scab had fallen off before applying the Aquaphor which was not easy but it felt sooooo good at that point to feel the healing benefits of the cream as my skin had become ultra sensitive. I just think different doctors have different ideas about the length of time to apply the Efudex. I really see no reason to continue applying the ointment if you are just putting it on top a scab as it is probably not penetrating down to the skin area.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/15/2011 12:41:06
Message:

Scabs? I haven't come across any of them yet. I did shed another layer or two of skin today in the shower. Actually, when I got out of the shower the first time, my entire face was grey, where the dead skin had soaked up water. I didn't want to leave it like that so back in I went and I gently exfoliated it off.
There are a few spots that have bled during the night or day and those have formed scabs of sorts, but they usually just wash off or disappear with the next treatment.
Longdrop you've got me worried about the guy with the red face. Yes, a good portion of mine is red, but there are still plenty of blotchy spots on my cheeks and temples.
I'm on day 24 for my forehead, and day 17 for the rest of my face. Was told 30 for forehead, 21 for the rest.


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 11/15/2011 13:19:02
Message:

Maybe scab is not the correct terminology. I did have a hard crust form each time I used Efudex which took another 2-3 weeks to fall off after I ceased using the product. According to the insert this is normal and part of the healing process.


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 11/15/2011 18:50:59
Message:

Sorry deruo, didn't mean to alarm you. I think that from the material the dermatologist showed me that blotchy is good but when the whole face is red and raw you need to stop and have probably gone on too long. By the sound of it you still have couple or three more days to go. If you don't do it properly there is the awful prospect of having to do it again! Good luck


Reply author: JennT
Replied on: 11/16/2011 21:15:16
Message:

I am scheduled for the Mohs procedure on my face in a couple weeks to remove SCC on my face. I have treated it twice with efudex and it has come back each time, worse than it was before. Any advice on having the Mohs procedure?


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 11/16/2011 23:09:14
Message:

Hi JennT. You might want to look at one of the Mohs surgeries threads on this site. There is one at http://www.topicalinfo.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=348


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 11/20/2011 23:44:39
Message:

TO JenT.
Actually, this is a response to everyone.
Efudex is no party. JenT, I guess that your earlier attempt with Efudex failed because you probably did it for only 21 days of less. There was a question earlier on this post about the varying durations in treatment. The varying duration I think is largely due to three reasons: 1) People can't take it and so the Dr cuts it short,2) Different treatment times for different cancer types, skin types and ages, and 3) I think many Dr's don't know what they are doing. Prior to doing Efudex I poured over all the studies on it. Minimum you need to go 28 days (face), two apply twice per day. If you are going after basil cell on the face then you must go 60 days. I know it's tough medicine but you are talking about pentance for years of damaging your skin. 60 days is nothing compared tot he 40 or mosr years of damage.
My girlfriend's Dr was going to remove basil cell from he cheek. A significant area would be cut and she would be scared. I got he a different Dr who thru my encouragement did Curac (eurafloricil - same stuff as Efudex). She applid it to the area for 60 days. It was a mess but you know what? She looks great today.
If you don't go long enough then It will come back some day. Get tough and just get it done. And don't forget your 50 block.


Reply author: bobw
Replied on: 11/21/2011 04:33:12
Message:

I have a question. How much do you guys apply? I know people are going to say everyone is different etc, but there must be a general rule of thumb. Say someone was doing their whole face twice a day, how long would a 20 gram or 40 gram tube last? Or if deruo is reading this, how much are you using on your scalp etc. I'm currently in Mexico, where Efudix is about $35-$40 for a 20 gram tube (and yes, it's completely legit Valeant Pharmaceuticals) and was trying to figure out how much I would need for my scalp and face for 30 days. Based on everyone's experience, and possibly applying it on the heavy side if anything...how much do you go through? How long would a 20 gram tube last?


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 11/21/2011 08:31:38
Message:

If you are going to have Mohs surgery on your face ( I have had both sides of my nose done and both 4 layers deep ) make SURE you have a Dr who knows what he is doing. Mine were done so well you can't even tell. Others I have seen are not do good. I remember being told the biopsy was positive (after 2 years of spraying and having a dumb dermatologist)then going to 4 plastic surgeons who all told me they were going to cut my face and do what is called a flap and pull skin over - well, that would leave a perm scar and all I did was cry and say there HAD to be another way. Well, I found a Dr who did do what everyone else did and I stayed with him over 20 years JUST for skin cancers. Unfortuantely he no longer is in practice and I am trying out a new guy, after checking his credentials.

I now have a presp for efudex - does ANYONE know where you can find it cheaper than $300 a tube in the US?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/21/2011 11:26:58
Message:

bobw - My first 40g tube lasted me about 3 weeks. I'm putting it on my scalp, forehead, rest of face, and a small spot on my shoulder, twice a day.
I think thats quite a bit of skin! I'm not sure if we're allowed to direct to other websites here but here goes: efudexed.blogspot.com . It's a blog I started, like others, in hopes of helping patients get an idea of what to expect. You can see my mug in all its' glory there. If the link gets removed, PM me and I'll send it to you that way.
It takes a couple of days to get the hang of it, the consistency in my first tube was much thicker than my second (which has a longer expiration date). I'm doing it to give everything a very thin layer. I didn't think my first tube was going to last until day 15 but I managed to squeeze enough out until day 21 or so.

My second tube expiration date is January 2013 and the consistency of the product is almost like a lotion. Goes on very easily.

Those prices in Mexico, although cheaper than the US, seem more expensive than Canada. My 40g tube at Costco here in Canada was just under 40.00 Canadian. There are a number of online pharmacies where you can buy "Canadian" drugs cheaper, and have them delivered to you in the US. You need a prescription but certainly cheaper than buying through US based pharmacies. For example, I found 1 online site where a 40g tube of Efudex was $79.00.

Charging $300.00 a tube for this stuff is criminal.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/21/2011 11:31:44
Message:

bobw - I should add that I've been shaving most days, or every second day, including my head. Usage increases somewhat dramatically if there's less smooth skin to work with.


Reply author: bobw
Replied on: 11/21/2011 16:37:51
Message:

That blog is awesome...thanks. I can't believe you are able to shave with a razor. I usually do, but during this I will be buying an electric (I also shave my head). So when you apply, you rub it in or just cover the surface and let it absorb on it's own?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 11/21/2011 17:25:30
Message:

I use a triple bladed razor (not every day during this though) because on top of it all, I'm moving and can't find the electric ;-)
I read somewhere... I can't remember where... that shaving cream works well as a cleanser in a pinch.
I tried Noxema, which usually works extremely well for shaving, but found it stings as well.
Granted, its still not pleasant but as someone has already offered me money on the street, thinking I was homeless/down on my luck, I'd like to look as presentable as possible! LOL.
I rub the surface with Efudex, much like I would with sunscreen, (using much, much less though) and rub it in so that I can't see any white streak marks. I started using latex gloves but found them to be a hindrance. I use my fingers and make sure to wash them thoroughly afterwards.


Reply author: aguisin
Replied on: 12/01/2011 09:42:17
Message:

I am on day 6 following 17 days of Efudex on my face. I had no noticeable lesions or BCC, Like all, I had a tough experience with the pain and ugliness. My biggest concern now is whether the redness will ever clear up. I know that may seem irrational, but you know..... My whole face is still about as red as ever although the pain is virtually gone. I use OTC steroid cream followed by Aquaphor. Does anyone know how long it might take for the redness to clear up?


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 12/01/2011 10:04:14
Message:

Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I still have a pink area on my face from a treatment I ended in October. The pink has faded quite a bit and I expect in another month it will be undetectable. I use a liquid concealor on the area that blends to my skin tone and am happy with the results.


Reply author: William Diehl
Replied on: 12/01/2011 18:42:32
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Longdrop

Hi again FlatladyB. I can't let your post go by! Efudex at $350 a tube? In Australia it cost me about $15 with a doctor's prescription. The active ingredient of Efudex (Fluorouracil) is one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs and was patented in the 50's so any patents have long expired surely. The US health system really needs a shake up if Efudex at $350 is an outcome!


Reply author: William Diehl
Replied on: 12/01/2011 18:47:38
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Longdrop

Hi again FlatladyB. I can't let your post go by! Efudex at $350 a tube? In Australia it cost me about $15 with a doctor's prescription. The active ingredient of Efudex (Fluorouracil) is one of the oldest chemotherapy drugs and was patented in the 50's so any patents have long expired surely. The US health system really needs a shake up if Efudex at $350 is an outcome!


Reply author: William Diehl
Replied on: 12/01/2011 18:55:54
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by FlaLadyB

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?


I bought a tube of Efudex in Tiajuana, Mex. for $15


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 12/04/2011 18:07:23
Message:

If you have a prescription then go on the internet and order it from Canada. We do that here in the US and save a ton, but unfortunately the gov has really tightened down on that; The big pharmaceuticals, I guess, weren't raping us enough already. I would tell you to order it from India but doing that is a serious crap shoot that's not worth the gamble. - Oh, and as I said in all my earlier posts; go a full 30 days minimum. Everyone here is acting like spoiled babies - wah wah, and give up after 3 or fewer weeks. You apply a really thin coat, twice a day for 30 days. You can rinse the face immediately before applying but leave it alone after application. Don't put any bandages, creams, petroleum jelly or makeup over it. And after, don't put anything on it like these idiots here are talking about. Leave it the H alone. These guys are complaining about being pink a month after they fininsh applying it. I just left mine alone and was >75% ok by day 30. One thing I have noticed is someone in my office did it for only 20 days and he now has kind of lumpy sking 30 days later. You see, he didn't go the distance (at least 30 days) and he has left partially damaged skin cells beneath the surface. He wah wah wah the whole time he was doing it. He stopped too early and now is getting what he deserves, even though I told him before he started to go 30 at least and go the distance. What a bunch of cry babies. Suck it up! We're talking 30 days that might just save your life and save you from a horrible death. Plus it's the greatest skin rejuvination ever.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 12/04/2011 18:13:15
Message:

If you have a prescription then go on the internet and order it from Canada. We do that here in the US and save a ton, but unfortunately the gov has really tightened down on that; The big pharmaceuticals, I guess, weren't raping us enough already. I would tell you to order it from India but doing that is a serious crap shoot that's not worth the gamble. - Oh, and as I said in all my earlier posts; go a full 30 days minimum. Everyone here is acting like spoiled babies - wah wah, and give up after 3 or fewer weeks. You apply a really thin coat, twice a day for 30 days. You can rinse the face immediately before applying but leave it alone after application. Don't put any bandages, creams, petroleum jelly or makeup over it. And after, don't put anything on it like these idiots here are talking about. Leave it the H alone. These guys are complaining about being pink a month after they fininsh applying it. I just left mine alone and was >75% ok by day 30. One thing I have noticed is someone in my office did it for only 20 days and he now has kind of lumpy sking 30 days later. You see, he didn't go the distance (at least 30 days) and he has left partially damaged skin cells beneath the surface. He wah wah wah the whole time he was doing it. He stopped too early and now is getting what he deserves, even though I told him before he started to go 30 at least and go the distance. What a bunch of cry babies. Suck it up! We're talking 30 days that might just save your life and save you from a horrible death. Plus it's the greatest skin rejuvination ever.


Reply author: BigD
Replied on: 12/05/2011 20:34:09
Message:

I have at times used efudex for less than 14 days at the advice of the doctor, both times it has left me with red dots (damaged looking skin) as though the job hadn't been completed. Has anyone had this and then gone back and re-treated for a longer period and had the red dots disappear?


Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 12/14/2011 06:50:13
Message:

You have to use it for at least 3 weeks. It takes about 2 months for all the red to go away.

quote:
Originally posted by BigD

I have at times used efudex for less than 14 days at the advice of the doctor, both times it has left me with red dots (damaged looking skin) as though the job hadn't been completed. Has anyone had this and then gone back and re-treated for a longer period and had the red dots disappear?


Reply author: mickapoo
Replied on: 12/28/2011 07:37:15
Message:

This link is a lengthy photo journal of a female's journey through the 4 week Efudex treatment:

www.hybriddesign.net/efudex

Everyone is different. I didn't really look any different afterwards, but I knew that it zapped all the precancerous lesions which is all that was important to me. I did have some scarring though, my fault, it was from where I picked at a scab.


Reply author: cmurf
Replied on: 01/19/2012 17:29:37
Message:

Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

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!


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 01/19/2012 19:00:41
Message:

Just in case anyone is interested in my post of 3 November I treated a spot on my ear that had been frozen twice at some expense but kept coming back. Twice a day for three weeks and now all gone. Well done Efudex


Reply author: Jamesone
Replied on: 01/25/2012 04:21:53
Message:

My first experience with efudix was about eight years ago. It was suggested to me by a dermatologist to heal up irritating dry skin patches along my hair line. It was suggested that I spread it liberally along the affected area once a day. Did this, the pain was terrible so after eight days I gave it away. Subsequently the redness went and with it the irritating dry skin. Just recently the same symptoms turned up again. My Gp suggested a couple of cream treatments which were not sucsessful. Then went to a skin clinic, it was suggested that I give the efudix another go. I have now been on it for 8 days and will now stop. One major difference this time is that I am only tackling a couple of spots at a time twice a day. I only use a small amount on a cotton bud. Yes is is still painful but not nearly as bad as the first time I used it.
I am a 78 year old male in remmission from Lymphoma, so quite honestly I am not overly fussed about the end result using efudix. I would suggest that in this day and age there is no need to suffer the pain that efudix can bring on. (ask your Doc for a strong pain killer, I use oxynorm) There are many different skin types among us. Be sure that you get the right advice according to you skin type.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 01/26/2012 01:08:39
Message:

Hawksworth, is your Doctor easy to see? I'd call or see him to see if he can tell you if you are having an allergic reaction or not. Given that it's just your face that is swollen, I suspect its not. My ears had very little reaction. Just one spot on one of them. My chin swelled up and was VERY painful. I also had oozing, but it took two weeks for that to happen to me. Everyone is a little different. Believe me, I know how much it hurts - it's still fresh in my mind and you wonder how you'll make it another day - let alone two weeks.

Remember that for each application you miss, the Docs generally want to see another DAY as "make-up".

Have you tried applying Aquaphor to "loosen" up the tightness? It really helps!

I shaved all through my treatment. You may prefer an electric shaver. I used a triple blade disposable. I wouldn't have used anything less. I made sure my beard was VERY wet and used a gel. Noxema, which I usually use, was out of the question as it stung too much. It took a while and my chin was very slow going as it was inflamed and sore. But it had the added benefit of sloughing off dead skin as well. My beard is quite thick and it would have been difficult to get the cream down to the skin in a few days, and I would have had to use a LOT more of it.

Pics, in case you're interested at: efudexed.blogspot.com

- Edited to answer questions about shaving.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 01/26/2012 16:51:01
Message:

Hi Ken and thank you very much for your reply. I found following the experiences of others with photos to be very helpful when I went through it, thus the reason for my blog.

I am a huge advocate of Aquaphor for itching and tightness/pain relief. Well, you still get the itching, but it's not as bad. A moist itching, if you will. It really helps so I wouldn't wait before using it. Just make sure you wait several hours after the Efudex application before using it. If you're like me, you'll wonder why you waited so long to use it! ;-) And if you have access to a Dr and or Staff, don't be afraid to use them! Thats what they're there for. I got a referral to a new dermo and that appointment isn't until May! The Canadian "free" health care system at work.

Hang in there. We know it's very tough, but its got to be done and much better than doing nothing. We're here if you need us!


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 01/26/2012 19:15:43
Message:

Keep at it Ken, sounds like you have a bad case but remember the alternative is likely to have been worse (eg regular ineffective freezes and lots of expensive surgery). I found shaving in the shower was tolerable with a triple blade and before I put the Efudex on but I have a light beard. In some of my research I noted that the treatment is exacerbated by sun exposure but that there is some evidence to suggest that sun exposure also makes Efudex more effective. I kept out of the sun though!


Reply author: sldavid
Replied on: 01/26/2012 20:04:48
Message:

A few weeks ago I went to my dermatologist and he gave me a clean bill of health on my face which is the only area I have used Efudex.
It has taken a long time (a few years applying it to several different areas) but so worth the end result. I don't expect to ever have the need to re-order the product again.


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 01/26/2012 23:11:24
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by cmurf

Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

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!





Just noticed your question. I have been back to my doctor and I am to repeat the procedure for another 8 weeks - twice a day, two days a week - to a couple of areas. I'm happy with most of the results but there are a couple of patches that need more treatment. When he looked at my face he was very happy with what he could see. Because I am going to Greece for 2 months in May and June I will not start the treatment until after that - in my Winter months. He is happy to leave it til then. I have no problems repeating - certainly did not find it too uncomfortable or unattractive


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 01/26/2012 23:44:14
Message:

Just noticed your question. I completed my second treatment of twice a day, two days a week for approximately 8 - 9 weeks and am pretty happy with the results. My doctor is very happy! I do need to repeat the treatment on the bridge of my nose - scaly area that hasnt cleared and another patch that is a new area - but will wait until my Winter time as I find I became very sensitive to sun and heat. I certainly did not have any negative side affects but at times wonder whether it would be better to just get it over and done with in a 3 week session - not sure on that though as the descriptions here from others sound pretty awful.Good luck. I'll be interested inhearing how you go

quote:
Originally posted by cmurf

Hello Cheeno, I hope you still view this thread.

I was just prescribed Efudex today (Jan 19) by my Derm. He recommended a similar treatment plan to the one your physician had prescribed you (mine is 2 days/week for a total of 9 weeks).

I am curious if your treatment has had sustained successful results of elimnating the AK's. If seems most people are taking this daily for shorter periods (2 - 6 weeks).

I am hopeful that the longer term/more infrequent application has the same positive results without the negative side-effects.

Thanks in advance for your, and anyone else's, experience following a similar treatment plan to the one I outlined.


quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

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!




Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 01/27/2012 01:08:58
Message:

Hi Hawksworth. Glad to hear the swelling is subsiding. The best bit is that after a month or so from stopping Efudex you'll look ten years younger as your wrinkles will be hugely reduced (although mine are slowly returning!) Cheers


Reply author: 3coolcats
Replied on: 03/04/2012 00:42:09
Message:

So glad to have found this site. I was feeling very alone until now. I'm 43, white, blonde hair, fair skin. Went to the doc about a spot on my nose that kept bleeding. She very casually prescribed Efudex. She said she has used it herself and she was much fairer than me. I'm now on Day 15 and I'm pretty scary looking. I'm using the 5% and told to use it once a day for 2-4 weeks. The doc didn't say when to stop. I figure I'll go as long as I can stand it by what you are all saying on here. My doc didn't even suggest a follow up visit. I am doing my whole face even though my nose was the issue. Interesting enough, my nose isn't all that red/scabby. It's my chin and cheek bone area that is terrible. And, my chin area is my hardest hit wrinkle area so I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that that is the part that Efudex is hitting the hardest. I wore sunscreen my whole life, but I guess I didn't do a great job covering up or something. It's pretty sore especially to eat b/c of the cracking around my mouth. While I don't like the pain, the isolation is the hardest for me. I won't go out looking like this, but I'm so lonely. Glad my husband and kids are great, but I miss being able to go out and about. My doc never said I had any cancers of any kind so I think I voluntarily put myself into this position. I'm hoping for a face cancerous free in the future and I'm hoping for fewer wrinkles. I appreciate everyone's comments b/c this is a big, scary deal, in my opinion.


Reply author: 3coolcats
Replied on: 03/04/2012 00:45:48
Message:

I'm 43, white, blonde hair, fair skin. Went to the doc about a spot on my nose that kept bleeding. She very casually prescribed Efudex. I'm now on Day 15 and I'm pretty scary looking. I'm using the 5% and told to use it once a day for 2-4 weeks. The doc didn't say when to stop. My doc didn't even suggest a follow up visit. I am doing my whole face even though my nose was the issue. Interesting enough, my nose isn't all that red/scabby. It's my chin and cheek bone area that is terrible. And, my chin area is my hardest hit wrinkle area so I'm wondering if it's a coincidence that that is the part that Efudex is hitting the hardest. It's pretty sore especially to eat b/c of the cracking around my mouth. While I don't like the pain, the isolation is the hardest for me. I won't go out looking like this, but I'm so lonely. Glad my husband and kids are great, but I miss being able to go out and about. My doc never said I had any cancers of any kind so I think I voluntarily put myself into this position.


Reply author: Jamesone
Replied on: 03/04/2012 16:20:09
Message:

Hi 3coolcats, seems you are putting yourself through hell. It seems that those of us with fair complexions have trouble with using efudex. My own experience was that when I got to the same situation as you describe I stopped using efudex until my face looked normal again. About 6 months later I started again but only in one small spot at a time applying efudex once a day every second day for two weeks . Then I would apply to another small area for the same period.
Hope this is of some help.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 03/07/2012 10:41:13
Message:

Hello 3coolcats, sorry for the late reply... your situation sounds much like mine. Another fair-skinned person here.

My chin was the worst area on my face and I didn't think it would be affected at all. The tops of my ears, which I figured would be horrific, had no reaction aside from a very small spot on one. I've rarely sported a moustache during my lifetime, but the outline of where it would be was virtually unaffected, but my chin and jawline?... ouch! Have you tried putting Aquaphor on the cracked skin around the corners of your mouth? It really makes a world of difference in pain levels when you're trying to eat.

I thought I'd add an update as I had my first followup yesterday since I did my treatment last fall. The Dr. said I hit "a home run" as he can't see any spots that need further attention at this time, so it would appear that all the pain, sleepless nights and isolation are worth it. I know its hard to think this way when you're going through it!
I now follow up with him in 4 months.
I also offered the intern that saw me first yesterday the following: "if you ever prescribe this stuff to a patient, PLEASE offer them something stronger than Tylenol, and prescribe them something to help them sleep. Until you go through it yourself, you can't imagine the discomfort" I showed him some photos and all he said was "wow".

Wow indeed.


Reply author: 3coolcats
Replied on: 03/07/2012 13:03:21
Message:

Sorry for the double post before. The site was giving me trouble and I though it was b/c I was over the text limit.

I've now made it to 3 weeks. Aiming to complete the entire 4 weeks. Unless you are not bothered by people's stares, I don't now how anyone can go out in public looking like this. I dropped my daughter off at the post office to do an errand for me and just sitting in the car brought me stares. Also, I had a friend who told me that I was over-reacting about my face and told me it was probably not as bad as I think. So, I sent her a picture. Her reply was, "OMG". Nice, huh?

I'm really hoping that once I stop this medicine next Wednesday, that there will be a remarkable recovery. My husband sent me flowers so that was really sweet. This is definitely not an easy road. It hasn't interfered with my sleeping too much (and I'm a light sleeper), but it has affected it somewhat. I wake up b/c my face is either burning or laying on the scabbing just hurts, but I change position and it seems to help.

It's very hard not to pick at the scabs. I picked a tiny piece off b/c I could see it and it was driving me crazy. I'm sorry I did b/c it stings now.

Everytime I see my teenage neighbor lying in the sunshine wanting to tan, I want to run over to her and show her my zombie face. She might not lay there anymore. She's more fair than I am.

Deruo - Regarding your moustache, I think it's interesting that the hair protected your skin so well too. I have worn my forehead covered by hair my whole life and it doesn't have one speck of red! Hair helps! LOL And, I do agree on the Aquaphor. It's provides instant relief.




Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 03/07/2012 13:21:32
Message:

3coolcats, sorry I wasn't clear. I never had that much hair covering the moustache area because I never really liked them. That area was clear. But my scalp, which I figured would be really bad as I haven't had hair there for years either was also clear.

Re your neighbor. Go ahead and do it. I doubt it would make much of an impact. A friend of mine who is blond and fair saw first hand what I went through, and even with that and all the lecturing I've been doing on sunscreens and THAT racket, she still sits out in the sun baking herself with minimal protection. You can lead a horse to water....


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/07/2012 16:31:26
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by JennT

I am scheduled for the Mohs procedure on my face in a couple weeks to remove SCC on my face. I have treated it twice with efudex and it has come back each time, worse than it was before. Any advice on having the Mohs procedure?



I suggest having a plastic surgeon lined up to perform any corrective surgery needed. I had mohs performed by dermatologist in the morning. When I returned to the plastic surgeon that afternoon, I was shocked to see a crater on my cheekbone area the size of a quarter. I had no idea the derm would have to take so much. The plastic surgeon filled in with surrounding tissue. The incision was cut to blend into my laugh lines so not to have that "nicked" out look. He did a wonderful job. It's been 11 years ago and you can barely see any scar even without makeup. Good luck to you!


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/07/2012 17:16:06
Message:

Hi. I'm into my 11th day using Efudex and seeing more spots appear every day. I'm taking pictures and documenting my process daily so I can see results. PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/07/2012 17:18:19
Message:

Hi. I'm into my 11th day using Efudex and seeing more spots appear every day. I'm taking pictures and documenting my process daily so I can see results. PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/07/2012 17:21:19
Message:

PLEASE - can anyone tell me about experience with severe red skin around the mouth. I feel like I've burned a permanent fu manchu around my mouth (not attractive since I'm a female). I have quit putting the Efudex in this area, but it is so sore and cracking. I hope I haven't permanently done damage. Thanks for any info.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 03/07/2012 17:34:16
Message:

tmilliner, that is, unfortunately, normal. Please check with your Doctor because the severe red skin is evidence that the efudex is "killing" off bad cells. I would not stop treatment without a Doctors okay. If you skip a day, you'll probably have to add it on at the end. It's not particularly attractive on either sex, but if its red, it means theres a need for the cream to be put there. If you haven't already, please look into getting some Aquaphor (by Eucerin). It's greasy, but it really helps with the pain of cracked skin and loosens things up.


Reply author: 3coolcats
Replied on: 03/08/2012 09:14:45
Message:

tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.


Reply author: 3coolcats
Replied on: 03/08/2012 11:10:24
Message:

Does anyone know how long the skin is photo sensitive after cream application course ends? A week? I mean, I WILL wear my sunscreen, but wondering when it's safe to go out into daylight? Thanks!


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/09/2012 11:41:33
Message:

Thanks. I'll try the Aquaphor. I've tried vaseline and CeraVe and still having a hard time talking and eating because the skin keeps hardening again.

quote:
Originally posted by 3coolcats

tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.




Reply author: gebgeroboys
Replied on: 03/13/2012 03:18:52
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by deruo

I'm on day 19 today.
I don't know if I can take another week of applying this stuff twice a day. My skin is raw and the pain in my forehead is unbelievable. Aquaphor helps, but you have to endure 2 hours of not having it on before you can apply it.

I finally found some Aquaphor here in Toronto (at Shoppers Drug Mart and apparently London Drugs in Canada also carries it.

My dermo told me to do 30 days on my forehead. But he also said that when I get blistering that I should quit - not necessarily wait until day 30. I've been doing Aquaphor and Tylenol but it's just not helping that much. I'm miserable and want to quit.

Getting an appointment with a dermatologist is almost impossible here. You either get one that tries to sell Botox or other treatments, or someone who is never available (like my guy) He only said he wanted to see me about 2 months after I finished treatment (Feb)

Any suggestions or hints on how to get through the next week to ten days?


Reply author: tmilliner
Replied on: 03/13/2012 11:18:06
Message:

The Aquaphor has helped a great deal. The doctor's office said I should try CeraVe, but I found it to not relieve the pain or tightness and the itching became unbearable. I had to wash it off immediately. I'm on my 3rd day of healing after two weeks of treatment. The worst patches of dried skin have sloughed off in the shower. Just thin layers of dried skin are still peeling and flaking. I have some itching, but not too bad.

I really feel for you and others having to go beyond two weeks. I got the cream too close to my eyes and although I've never had botox, I felt the soreness and pain and they became so stiff.

Take care. I will be watching for your updates.

quote:
Originally posted by 3coolcats

tmilliner - I'm on Day 21. That happened to me too. In fact, that is the hardest hit area on my face. Whether male or female, it's not particularly attractive. Definitely use the Aquaphor because it allows you to move your mouth without so much cracking.

Right now I'm battling a spot that got too close to my eye. I have to be more careful about not touching my face after I've applied the cream. Seems to me that everything itches more after the cream has been on for about an hour and I start scratching and touching my face. I don't want to start this process close to my eye.




Reply author: blsnbelles
Replied on: 05/01/2012 20:55:26
Message:

Hi,

6 year melanoma survivor. Dr prescribed Fluorouracil for 2x's a day for 2 wks on my face. Same story everytime I went to the Dermo constant freezing off "bad" areas it was just getting to be too much and not always getting the whole area. So my new Dr said to do this. I'm on day 15, my first day w/o the cream. So far either I have a high tolerance for pain or I'm a very mild case but I haven't experienced real pain or sleepless nights. I'm uncomfortable and it's a pain in the rear but that is about it.

What I have felt is, since the first application, a tingle then I gradually started to feel a sunburn type pain that today is feeling it's worst and starting to burn like a bad sunburn. I also started to feel a mild itch, which sometimes feels like a hair on my face and sometimes like ants crawling under my skin. I never touched my face with the cream on and used a soft dry washcloth to tap my face and stop the itch. For me it isn't a scratch itch but touching it seems to stop it.

The first week my face pretty much stayed the same but you can't wear make up so it's strange walking around plain. I did get a sore on my right eyebrow that we knew was a bad area because that is where I didn't want a "white spot" on my eyebrow. Started to get a few little other sores but not many. The sores seem to be under my skin. And my face is puffy/swollen but not much.

The second week I was showing more signs of redness, sores, tiny under the skin red sores. By days 12-14 I was showing more hot areas manly at the sides of my nostrils, between my eyes and chin. My checks seem to be OK at the moment.

I went out in public today wearing a hat because life makes me.I'm amazed at how many people out there know about this treatment and understand it. I feel proud that I can at 55 get rid of the damage I did as a kid in the 60's and 70's and seeing how dark a tan I could get... the darker the better. Baby Oil, iodine, Hershey's Cocoa Butter, Coppertone Tanning Lotion, and more. If you can take care of the problem, you should. I haven't heard one bad remark from anything I've read and I've read just about everything I could Google. Precautionary, no matter how your treatment goes, is always better than the end result. Why not fix something we knew nothing about years ago. I'm so glad I am. I'll let you know how it goes in the days to come! Kick Cancer One Cell at a Time!!! If you can see the pic (tried to load) this was after the last application on my 14th day.

Great forum for info ~ Thanks


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Reply author: noni
Replied on: 05/13/2012 03:51:49
Message:

Hello there. New to the forum. I did Efudex three years ago and hated it. But of course survived it and though the results were so much better than liq nitrogen. Partial face and chest. Became a supporter of this treatment encouraging others to go for it. The results are always worth the discomfort, social and physical.
Just finished another 21 days on my lower lip. Four days later I am having problems with scabs. The scabs break and bleed so easily with eating, teeth cleaning, even talking! etc etc. Plus, I always have been a picker, a toucher - hate loose skin and scabs on my lips. So, this time I was looking to see if there was anything I could buy in my area of the world (France) to put on the lips. I'll head for lanolin oil, as a pharma friend advised. Just got to keep those scabs on the lips! It is not too bad. Enclosing a photo. This was taken before the cracking and bleeding.
Also found that eating out of a dessert spoon (at home) was easier as less wet food touches the lip and you don't have to open so wide. All a bit basic but as this forum is about help, I'm putting in my cents-worth.
If in doubt about this treatment, "Just do it!"


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Reply author: Floridagirl
Replied on: 06/17/2012 19:55:57
Message:

I have just been told I have to do efudex treatment on my face and chest. Trying to decide whether to my face in sections or go the whole hog and do it all at once. I'm afraid I'll start and then not finish. I work with the public so I'm concerned that burn victim chic not the greatest look. I know I have to, AK, BCC,SCC already, and I want avoid mohs. Any advice on how I should do it? Thanks!


Reply author: FlaLadyB
Replied on: 06/17/2012 20:30:12
Message:

Well hello another person from Florida. I haven't done my time with the efudex yet.. but I know I have to. I was told not to do it when its hot out - and since we are going in to the summer I would say wait till later this year. The heat apparently makes you suffer more plus the sun is stronger. What part of Florida are you in? Im in Port St Lucie just above West Palm Beach.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 06/18/2012 15:33:26
Message:

Floridagirl, this is just my 2 cents, but consult your Dr. to see if you can put it off until the heat of summer is over. Or if you can do a modified schedule of twice a day for 2 or 3 days a week for several months instead of the usual 2 times a day everyday for 3 weeks to a month. Or perhaps another treatment?

If not, bite the bullet, do it and stay out of the heat as much as possible. For me, the last week was the worst. As far as how much to do, I would suggest doing your face first, and then your chest. You're right, you may start and not finish if you break your face into sections. If you've had AK, BCC and SCC already you know the score.

I work with the public too, but to heck with them if it makes them feel uncomfortable - this is your life we're talking about. Look at it as an opportunity to educate others. I printed out things like "go ahead - ask.. I know you want to", and "still think suntans look healthy?" on mailing labels and wore them on my shirt/jacket.

Whatever you do, make sure your Doc gives you something for pain and to help you sleep.


Reply author: Floridagirl
Replied on: 06/24/2012 15:57:10
Message:

Thanks! Live in Atlanta now, so I have decided to wait until December to go ahead with the treatment. Less hot/humid then so I'm thinking it will be easier in the cold. Have to admit scared to do this, and not looking forward to it one bit even though I know I really don't have a choice. Thanks for the advice on painkillers. They did not give me one so I will ask for that. The derm sort of acted like its no big deal. I do wonder if it's worse the more damage there is?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 06/24/2012 17:15:01
Message:

Floridagirl, ask your Dermo if he or she has ever done the treatment themselves. If they act like it's no big deal, I suspect the answer is no, they haven't.
If you are putting it off until cooler weather, I'd suggest November. That way, the pain and itching are likely to be less during the xmas holiday period. I did 1 month and weeks 3 and 4 were the worst (and a few days of week 5). I also had tylenol 3's on hand that didn't help too much. I would have killed for a prescription for something to help me sleep as the itching really kicked in around midnight on most nights later on in the treatment.


Reply author: Nodge
Replied on: 07/24/2012 23:18:51
Message:

I have my tube of Efudex. Now just need to work up the courage to get started! Scary posts on this forum. You may be interested to know the cost of it here in New Zealand. $3 for the 20g tube! (Must be highly subsidized by the government.)


Reply author: Jackie
Replied on: 08/02/2012 22:43:24
Message:

I have just completed 14 days x2 daily on my nose and cheeks. I will have to do my forehead and chin area another time (when the fresh memories are gone )

I wish I could have done the whole face at once but have been advised only to do small sections. Even doing 14 days was extremely difficult. People must react differently to the medication. I think I reacted quickly and the results were what someone else may have experienced after 3 weeks. In the end I was putting cream on top of layers of scabby skin. The only area that didn't react to the cream was a small section either side of my ears. I ended up with about 15 great big sores as well as red raw skin across the rest of my face.

I did my nose first before a week later deciding to go acrooss the whole middle section of my face so my nose has had a week of healing. I am fortunate I decided to do that at the end of week 1 because at the end of week 2 I would have taken a break and not treated any other area for a while. I will wait to see how long I take to get back to normal before I schedule my next section.

My nose, after one week, has lost all its scabs and layers of dead skin. It is shiny and red but smooth. I can see where the deep sores were as they are now a darker shade of red. I may end up having an uneven skin tone but I had freckles before and beginning to get a few brown spots (age spots my doc said). I don't think I will have any freckles left on the skin I have treated. They were quite pale anyway from years of wearing suncream. The problem is the years of not and the severe sun burns throughtout my life.

I was amazed by how many I had that I did not know. I knew of one on the end of my nose and one on my cheek and one on ear (my GP said to use efudix on it like a spot treatment - lucky I read that it is better to do a section or I would have missed the ones that were waiting to show themselves!!)

My cheeks are the sorest. It has only been two days since I stopped using the cream. The skin on top is a colour that is difficult to describe. It was an orange colour from the fluid that came out of the sores after applying the cream but now it is like a grey colour I suppose and under it is broken bleeding skin in places. I am using an antibiotic cream that I had already in the cupboard. I am using it on the areas that are bleeding. I am no longer using it once the skin closes over like on my nose. I am paranoid about getting an infection in the open skin. Then I am using paw paw ointment as a moisturiser simply because it is what I have in the cupboard.

If the red disappears quickly then I will do my forehead as soon as it does. My chin can wait until next winter and I may actually take some time off to do that area. I think it will be worse than the middle of my face. I wish I had done my whole face at once cause now I have to go through this again!!

I am so proud of myself. I think this process is tiring both physically and emotionally. I have had to draw on my sense of self worth and put aside the stares and even laughs and pointing from teenage boys (let's face it they are experiencing their own emotional torment at the moment so I forgive them). Though my tolerance has reached its end. I have worked every day during this experience and dropped kids off to school and shopped and the list goes on. Right now I don't want to see a single person every again until I am all healed (but I will). I have a little cry, pick myself up and continue on.

I have learnt that I place significant importance on the way I look (like others I guess or they wouldn't stare). It has been a humbling experience and even though I knew I was strong what I have learnt is that it is my own attachment to looks that caused me the greatest pain. I have a girlfriend who lives daily with a birth defect that affects her face and people stare. She is strong and positive and outgoing and she is my hero. If I can't suck up a month or so of looking like this then I do not deserve to walk next to her in the street.


Reply author: alanmowle
Replied on: 08/20/2012 09:10:04
Message:

I am in the UK where medicines are free if over the age of 65. I started my Efudix over 4 weeks ago with a 40gram tube, this costs the Pharmacist to buy into the Pharmacy £36.80 the Dispensing costs have then to be added and the 'buying in' costs, generally the UK is considered a low cost area for medicines, the Mexico price at $40 for 40grams seems too cheap to be true? I am lucky in that most of my needs are on the top of my bald head,however my right ear is completely scabbed up and very vascular and bleeds easily, so I do not sleep on that side, I made a mistake and applied some cream to my left ear and 3 small spots have come up there and bleed, on hindsight I would leave one ear alone, I am a former RN but never seen Efudix (That is the MEDO trade name in the UK) in action.

quote:
Originally posted by deruo

bobw - My first 40g tube lasted me about 3 weeks. I'm putting it on my scalp, forehead, rest of face, and a small spot on my shoulder, twice a day.
I think thats quite a bit of skin! I'm not sure if we're allowed to direct to other websites here but here goes: efudexed.blogspot.com . It's a blog I started, like others, in hopes of helping patients get an idea of what to expect. You can see my mug in all its' glory there. If the link gets removed, PM me and I'll send it to you that way.
It takes a couple of days to get the hang of it, the consistency in my first tube was much thicker than my second (which has a longer expiration date). I'm doing it to give everything a very thin layer. I didn't think my first tube was going to last until day 15 but I managed to squeeze enough out until day 21 or so.

My second tube expiration date is January 2013 and the consistency of the product is almost like a lotion. Goes on very easily.

Those prices in Mexico, although cheaper than the US, seem more expensive than Canada. My 40g tube at Costco here in Canada was just under 40.00 Canadian. There are a number of online pharmacies where you can buy "Canadian" drugs cheaper, and have them delivered to you in the US. You need a prescription but certainly cheaper than buying through US based pharmacies. For example, I found 1 online site where a 40g tube of Efudex was $79.00.

Charging $300.00 a tube for this stuff is criminal.


Reply author: Kite girl
Replied on: 08/23/2012 07:29:50
Message:

Hi There.
Doc has prescribed efudex for two weeks on my lips For two weeks, once a day at night. Lots of sun history growing up and live in the Caribbean. A few big lesions and lots of burns. I was told to treat a year ago but did not. Oops. I chose Efudex over Aldara after reading the side effects of Aldara, and the doc said it is faster acting than Aldara, which is important because I am in reeal estate and can not afford a lot of down-time

The question is does any one know if using hydrocortisone cream 1% or natural Cocoa
Oil reduce the effectiveness of efudex, when used In the day 8 hours after applying efudex?

I am on day 9 of two weeks and it seems like the intense burning is done just lots of ugly weeping and scrabbling and bleeding. Now it is just hard to talk and eat.

When the burning and swelling was was so intense a few days ago, I used cocoa oil then later on a different day hydrocortisone 1% . neither of which my doc recommended.

Why I ask is because the major lesion on my lip that brought me to the doc has not been affected at all. Around it and other areas have been affected but not this one ?????

Thanks


Reply author: Kite girl
Replied on: 08/23/2012 07:48:39
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by JackRussell

TO JenT.
Actually, this is a response to everyone.
Efudex is no party. JenT, I guess that your earlier attempt with Efudex failed because you probably did it for only 21 days of less. There was a question earlier on this post about the varying durations in treatment. The varying duration I think is largely due to three reasons: 1) People can't take it and so the Dr cuts it short,2) Different treatment times for different cancer types, skin types and ages, and 3) I think many Dr's don't know what they are doing. Prior to doing Efudex I poured over all the studies on it. Minimum you need to go 28 days (face), two apply twice per day. If you are going after basil cell on the face then you must go 60 days. I know it's tough medicine but you are talking about pentance for years of damaging your skin. 60 days is nothing compared tot he 40 or mosr years of damage.
My girlfriend's Dr was going to remove basil cell from he cheek. A significant area would be cut and she would be scared. I got he a different Dr who thru my encouragement did Curac (eurafloricil - same stuff as Efudex). She applid it to the area for 60 days. It was a mess but you know what? She looks great today.
If you don't go long enough then It will come back some day. Get tough and just get it done. And don't forget your 50 block.


What about on the lips? Isn't the duration less when applying to the lips?


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 08/23/2012 22:28:36
Message:


[/quote]
What about on the lips? Isn't the duration less when applying to the lips?

Odd thing about the lips is that I applied it to them and they seemed to react more quickly than any other area.. but.. they seemed to max out quicker too and almost stop responding. Nonetheless, I continued for 6 weeks.

My brother went nuts with Efudex and applied it to a single area for almost 12 weeks. The area reacted as expected, but then 4 weekes into it a bump that he had under that area started to reacted. He fearlessly applied for 3 months. Another brother called him crazy. That brother said that he would be scared for life. Well, it took a long to to heal but whatever that bump was deep under his skin, that he had had for years, is now gone.

Keep in mind that you are dealing with cancer here. Come on! A little discomfort and being ugly for a moth or two is nothing compared to the grusome death caused by skin cancer. Skin cancer takes no prisoners.




Reply author: AussieMike
Replied on: 08/24/2012 14:20:46
Message:

Being of Irish genetic composition, but having grown up - not in the mist, drizzle and gloom of County Cork - but on the highveld of South Africa and the beaches of Australia, I was destined to skin cancer challenges at some stage of my life.

So here I am on day 17 of a 21 day treatment of Effudex, and I have to say that I was very badly prepared for this journey. At my wife's insistence I go for annual skin checks. But when the dermatologist one day almost casually suggested I undergo the Effudex thing, I even more casually, agreed. At no stage did he tell me to prepare myself mentally for a tough experience. 

And he certainly never once used the "chemotherapy" word which I subsequently learned is what this treatment really is. I suspect the word is somewhat stigmatized and if a medical specialist declares the need for chemotherapy, that would unnecessailry scare many patients.

Still, while it isn't a barrel of laughs (as a case in point, it's 3:15am in the morning as I type this and I'm unable to sleep because of the pain and burning), I take heart from the positive experiences shared by others on this site. 

Judging from what others have shared, it would seem that this current period, I.e., the latter stages of the treatment, are the most challenging. Reading about the Love-Hate relationship others have had with Effudex (Love, afterwards, but sheer Hate during treatment!) has also helped to put the tough, lonely times into perspective. 

I particularly liked someone's comment along the lines of how such a harmless looking cream is able to cause  such carnage and trauma. 

As an Effudix "victim" it's easy to feel sorry for oneself, but I suppose if there's a cancer type to be prone to, its skin cancer. At least the enemy is visible and observable.

While right now I make Oscar the Grouch seem like the life of the party by comparison, I'm lookin forward in a few weeks time to be able to post word of encouragement similar to others who have survived the Effudex Enduro.

Best 

Crusty Mike


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 08/24/2012 17:16:05
Message:

Hi Mike - read my posts. 3 weeks is not enough. You kill surface cells leaving the deeper damaged cells to fester unnoticed. You think all is OK and then one day you discover you have melanoma and its too late. Do it right and do 5 to 6 weeks. I did and I am glad. Sure it's hell but other people have been thru a lot more for a lot less. Dying of skin cancer is a hell of a lot worse, and all because you could not stick this out for 5 weeks.


Reply author: dwoodpt
Replied on: 09/04/2012 16:02:42
Message:

Just went through the 2 week efudex treatment with a 2 week steroid follow up. I've originally had mohs surgery on my lip and it turned out to be a 4 hr. nightmare. I was cancer free for about a year but it returned on the left side of my lower lip. I requested a consultation with my surgeon so we could go over some questions I had about the first surgery. We discussed the option of efudex. I would have tried anything not to go through the mohs. I did not receive much information from the derm. or the surgeon other than it would be a little unpleasant. I'm glad I called and asked if I should do the entire lip or just the left portion. After about 4 or 5 days it really kicked in and a series of scabs and raw area continued for the rest of the 2 weeks. It would have been extremely difficult if I had done the whole bottom lip. However the whole treatment was basically painless for me. It looked bad and I used a straw a lot , but to look at in the mirror made me smile because I knew it was working. Besides the cancer I had a lot of lip damage that would not heal, that is all gone now. I thank God there are sights like this where people can share there experience it has really helped me. In closing the efudex worked for me. I've also learned with cancer this is just one chapter you really don't know how it will end untill you read the whole book. One observation I've made reading these posts about waiting or starting a treatment, absolutely nothing good can happen waiting !


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 09/09/2012 12:55:22
Message:

Hi All - new to forum . . . first of all thank you all so much for sharing your FU5 experiences - I'm on Day 6 of application to my whole face (minus lips), and must report that the only change I have is in my lower lip - almost as if it is chapped - I'm being more careful with the application. I'm not sure how long I will be using as I see my derm on Day 14 - I'm sure she'll tell me then my continued approach. I too experienced a lack of information from my derm - this site has truly enlightened me, but also has prepared me for any outcome. I seem to run out and buy a new itch remedy everyday:):) . . . I'll keep you all posted . . . and, again thanks for all your comments - you too Jack Russell - I believe you!! Oh, and all the blogs are helpful too - have them 'bookmarked' to check when things get rough!!


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 09/09/2012 16:39:33
Message:

Hi MrsG - I didn't hide when I did the treatment. I was open and out there. Since that time a few people have come to me telling me they will be doing and asking what to expect. Aside from the discomfort and rash, I emphasized that they must do at least 5 weeks. Though they can clearly see how well I turned out, and they are envious of my complexion and skin, they still do not take the advice and do only 21 days. For a few now a couple years have passed and guess what? They are getting blotches and freckling and fine wrinkles. Me on the other hand, 5 or 6 years have passed and my skin is great. I'm 54 with the complexion of someone 20 years younger. I lost some pigment, and that I have to live with, but I much rather the peace of mind of wiping out any cancer in training and clearing out the blotches on their way to being some kind of liver spot freckles. Find a Dr who knows what they are doing and will help you do 5 weeks. BTW, I put it not only on my face, but my lips, neck all the way around, ears and upper chest. I admit I had more than a few bottles of wine during those 5 weeks to help me though it. I always found the discomfort to be more of a perceived discomfort than anything. Apply it once in the AM & once in the PM. Follow my advice and you'll be thankful you did. The upside of doing it right versus the downside is infinite.


Reply author: ecobabe
Replied on: 09/13/2012 01:15:32
Message:

Today my Derm very casually prescribed Efudix with a treatment program of 1 week a month for 4 months. I'm 42 and have had a melanoma removed from my leg and numerous solar keratosis burned off my face and 3 BCCs removed from my shoulders, and we've just discovered a BOwen's on my chest that needs to be excised...

I've spent this afternoon Googling about Efudix/ex and I'm very scared to start the treatment. I am very conscious of my appearance and spend a lot of time outside of the home working which involves standing up in front of a lot of people. Also approaching summer and Christmas it's a very busy social time of the year. OMG I sound so vain, I guess I am! Has anyone had experience of the 1 week a month for 4 months treatment regime? I would like to have an idea of what to expect in terms of redness over the treatment week and also the recovery time from a week's treatment. My Derm recommended doing the treatment this way as he said it would be unlikely that I would be able to handle 28 days straight. I need to treat my whole face, hairline and sections of my lips.

Thanks for this Forum and to the people who've already shared their experiences


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 09/13/2012 08:53:35
Message:

Hi Ecobabe -
With all due respect the treatment regime prescribed you is idiotic. It makes absolutely ZERO sense! Efudex is a drug which interferes with the replication of cells. It interferes with the RNA in such a way that delays its ability to replicate and the cell eventually can last no longer and dies. Cancer and "pre cancer" type cells (such as the type of cells to which you refer in your post) replicate, as a rule, at a faster rate (have quicker lives) than normal, healthy cells. To apply Efudex once a week makes no sense. In doing so it would only for a moment (less than 24 hours) disrupt the replication. Once that period passed the cell would then replicate. Few to no cancer/precancer cells would die.
The prescribed application of Efudex is once every 12 hours. I applied it for about 5 weeks. Some apply it for only 3 weeks. My results are long term and permanently killed the bad cells as opposed to what the 3 weeks regime did which was leave bad cells deep under the surface.
I have less pigment now but it is worth it. All blotches, freckling and fine lines are gone. It has been over six years now.
I would not recommend doing it before the summer. Your skin will be fragile after treatment and must be protected from the sun. And for the rest of your life you must protect it because it will continue to be fragile.
People on this forum are poorly informed. Many Dr's appear poorly informed as well. I live in Boston, Mass. I went to the best Dr's on the planet at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. They told me the right thing to do. I bit the bullet and did my five weeks. You have to bite the bullet, take the discomfort and suck up the vanity. Do you want to die of skin cancer? How about being sliced and diced and scared having these things removed?
And when applying it, if a spot continues to be getting red at 5 weeks do not stop applying it to the spot. Do not stop until it scabs over.
A month after you finish treatment you will be back to normal - except for any deep spots which you chased beyond the 5 weeks.
When you start treatment it takes about a week to start getting red. Once you finish treatment it takes about 3 weeks to look like your old self.
So do it right and do 5 weeks!!!
Sure it's uncomfortable but I thought Ausie chicks were tough.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 09/13/2012 09:38:50
Message:

JackRussel, to clarify I believe she meant that her derm said to apply it FOR a week a month for 4 months, Not to apply it once a week. Thats the way I read it anyway.
Either way, I agree that this is not enough. My face only started rocking after a week of twice daily applications.

I see no reason to put down other members here as being poorly informed. Whose fault is that? We are here to help others. We are not Drs. Nor presumably, are you. I wasn't thrilled with my Dr. but as we've seen there are wildly varying lengths of treatment and some Drs. can't seem to agree on what is "standard".

Everyone is different. My face was not "back to normal" after a month. I finished on November 23rd and was still patchy dark pink in January into February. Not as bad as it was, but still. Certainly not "normal".

Now ecobabe, all this being said - I do agree with JackRussell on several points. First, based on what you've described about your medical history, I would not think that this treatment is going to do that much for you. Unless your Dr is trying to get you started during your summer and then do a heavier treatment afterwards. If you have a choice, I would not do the twice daily treatment during the summer as your skin becomes extremely sensitive to the sun and heat. I asked my derm if I could wait until the fall (for several reasons) and he said no problem. Finally, no one "wants" to do this, but is death from skin cancer/melanoma a better alternative? Permanent disfiguring scars from surgery make you feel better? Of course not. Suck it up and get it done.

If you are like most Aussies I've met, you probably spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun, and based on what you've experienced already, it sounds like you'll have what the Drs. call "a good reaction" to Efudex. Most of us care a great deal about our appearance and for those of us working with the public it makes it even rockier, but seriously.... this has to be done. You've already got a history of melanoma and BCC, and now something to be excised!

For what it's worth ecobabe, my Dr. told me to do it for 30 days. He suggested I do it in sections. Forehead first and then rest of face. I decided that if it was bad, I might not want to do the rest of my face after the first section was done, so I did it all at once. I'm glad I did. No it wasn't pleasant. Yes, I took time off work towards the end, yes I got some stares but thats their issue, not mine. On the plus side, I know I killed a lot, if not most of the pre-cancerous cells there AND got rid of a great deal of wrinkles at the same time ;-)


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 09/13/2012 10:04:16
Message:

I need to move to Canada


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 09/13/2012 10:30:14
Message:

Why's that dolfan? Politics aside, south Florida isn't so bad.... or is it?


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 09/13/2012 12:44:45
Message:

There's a lot of talk in this thread about dying from skin cancer.

To be clear very few people die from non-melanoma skin cancers and melanoma is melanoma not actenic keratosis, squamous or basal cell.
As I understand it these non melanoma cancer don't "turn into" melanoma. Melanoma is a different animal and when Dan set this site up he made it clear this is for treating non melanoma skin cancers..Basically though there are a lot of people here who claim they have beaten melanoma alternatively..The proof of the pudding has yet to be shown clearly or properly documented.

That said.. Efudex was a early method of treatment of non melanoma skin cancers. It was not developed for them but as a chemotherapy drug. As ocologist treated patients , those with non melanoma skin cancers started breaking out with sores all over their sun damaged bodies. The medical world connected the dots and big pharma developed a diluted down version to treat skin cancers..

I remember my sister first using it @ 20+ years ago..and me buying some from online and using it on some small Ak's I had.. A few years later when I was speaking to one well known derm here in California he said he had quit prescribing it because he felt there were better faster treatments now and that because effudex is so hard to deal with a lot of people quit before they should leaving bad cells hidden below to fester and grow unnoticed... Great!

Anyway to those of you using it follow through.. IMO there are a lot of equal or better alternative options here on this site that are faster and will provide equally good results with less time and pain.

Just my opinion and observation and to clarify...I am just a lay person taking stabs in the dark like the rest of us here.


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 09/13/2012 14:55:34
Message:

The problem with effudex is the heat and the sun exposure. I would love to be over and done with it in one shot, witch is what efudex sells in it's ad. My problem is my lifestyle and the fact that the pain and suffering from that cream would make me want to quit after the going got tough....just being honest.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 09/13/2012 15:07:34
Message:

Ah I get what you mean. Nothing wrong with being honest.

Ideally, I think it would be best to do it at a time of year when the sun and heat isn't at its peak, wherever you live. Especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors during daylight hours or can't make changes to your lifestyle for any period of time.

My new dermo has said that Efudex wouldn't have been her first choice for the reasons we've all heard about pain etc. She seems to prefer Aldara. I have a follow up with her in November so we'll see!


Reply author: ecobabe
Replied on: 09/14/2012 00:57:33
Message:

Thanks Guys, how to scare a newbie off.

My dermatologist is one of Australia's leading skin cancer specialists. I have been under his care for the past 6 years. I will follow the regime as he has prescribed because he has a great deal of clinical and professional experience.

His preference for 1 week of twice daily applications, monthly, for 4 months is based on patient compliance and outcomes. I did the first application this morning.


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 09/14/2012 08:43:42
Message:

I have a friend here in Miami who does it the same way as prescribed by his derm. He said it was no big deal and I told him what I read about (five weeks) and he said that was not necessary. Anything is better than nothing and I think you guys in cold climates should open up a halfway house for recovering efudex addicts to recover (LOL)


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 09/14/2012 22:40:18
Message:

I've been on Efudex for 4 weeks and still have two to go. I have both basel cell and squamous cell cancer on my scalp. My scalp is really tender right now and I've lost a good bit of hair. The side effects I've had were nausea and metallic taste to begin with and itching headaches, and hair loss now. I've included pics and it's pretty nasty looking.

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Reply author: John Howell
Replied on: 09/17/2012 13:14:58
Message:

I am ten days into Efudex for my hands and arms. I am the usual mess as described above.
Maybe I am a screwball but I have and unusual experience with taste that may be a side effect. Particularly, some things have taken a bitter aftertaste and my old afternoon glass of wine- my usual brand- doesn't taste so good.
Has anyone experienced this? This symptom onset about the time I started on Efudex.


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 09/17/2012 13:33:29
Message:

I don't have the metallic taste anymore, but nothing tastes quite right.


Reply author: John Howell
Replied on: 09/18/2012 18:08:36
Message:

I am day twelve into it, more or less. I will keep going until the tube runs out. On a scale of 1-10 I would put it all at about a 1.7. The burn has become an itch. Last night I could not sleep and had to go away from my bride of 52 years and head to the couch.
I am a Marine with two hitches, one in Twentynine Palms where the desert sun was brutal. We had no full covers there or in Vietnam nor sunblock. And even if they had them I don't think the Marine Corps cared enough about us to give us the junk. So Leathernecks became Cancernecks. Everywhere that the sun don't shine I have had the squalmos and basal and all the rest. I now look like a leper but what the hell, life is the sum total of all experience. I have absorbed a lot of sunshine.
To you who are heading into the treatment: Stick it out. Life can and will deal you worse. To the gals who have put your pics up with your burn marks: You are all beautiful.
Semper Fi


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 09/18/2012 18:48:19
Message:

nice post John, my Dad was veteran of WW2 and Korea and died from cancer that they said was from the fallout of being near the atomic bomb in Nagasaki. I don't know if that is true, but I feel lucky to have escaped the horror of war.


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 09/20/2012 08:35:33
Message:

Day 16 for me - had my two week appointment with the derm Tuesday . . . all on schedule, was instructed to continue for two months - yes two months, not weeks - OK with me - want to get it all out and move on . . .sunblock will now be my friend. Experiencing many red blotches, some drying and itching, but bearable - Aquaphor is helpful:):) Gool luck all!!!


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 09/21/2012 00:12:51
Message:

MrsG, good luck to you! I have 11 more days.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 09/21/2012 08:31:26
Message:

I love the spirit I see coming from MsDubbs, MrsG and John Howell. You all seem to be intent on going the needed distance [with this drug] to get the job done right. I have been begging people on this forum to bite the bullet and go the requuired amount of time to get the required outcome. When this is all done and you are 1,2,3,4 years out make sure you return to this forum as I have to report how you are doing. It's been about 6 years for me and still my skin is great. I'm paler but my complexion and skin tone are great. The time I did with effudex was well worth it - and I have no idea the problems from which it may have saved me.
Keep the pressure on!


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 09/21/2012 10:06:53
Message:

Thanks JackRussell!!


Reply author: John Howell
Replied on: 09/22/2012 17:34:02
Message:

Well, fans, I am at day 18 or 19. The blisters have all turned scabby. I am sitting on my patio with a half-dozen sparrows chirping around my feet, peeling off scabs, tossing them. The sparrows love them.
I thought you might all appreciate a little Marine Corps humor in the midst of your misery. Sometimes laughter was all that we had.

Semper Fi


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 09/23/2012 01:42:19
Message:

Thanks for the chuckle!! I have until the last day of Sept.


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 09/23/2012 12:41:14
Message:

Happy Sunday all . . . at least it seems we're all moving along . . . must say I really do miss my bike riding and golf, but have been shopping to keep the exercise going - well, I think I'm pretty much 'housebound' now - it's not pretty:):) . . . too difficult to get makeup on - I'd go out if I really needed to though:):) - quickly!!! Have some house projects that I've been avoiding that I'll start working on . . . stay well all!!!!


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 09/25/2012 15:05:54
Message:

Cannot quite believe the change just since Sunday - woke up Monday morning all swollen, then again this morning - looks like I have a bad case of the mumps - do have a call into my derm, but she has not called:( . . . no swelling anywhere else other than my face, so not sure if it is an allergic reaction or not . . . well, maybe I'll go get some cheese for my 'whine' . . . thanks for this place . . . :) . . . well, she just called - use cold compresses - normal reaction to the damage done earlier in my tanning days . . . use sunblock!!!! She did say I could cut back or stop for a few days, but I'll try to tough it out and see what happens . . . later all:)


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 10/01/2012 10:16:23
Message:

Well, how is everyone doing????? . . . it's been a tough week for me, but I'm pulling through - did put a call in today for some pain relief:( . . . sometimes the old saying "silence is golden" is not the case - my silence was due to no energy to share - I know this will be over in time, but it is difficult, but, better than the possible other choice . . . use sunblock all!!!!


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 10/01/2012 11:08:42
Message:

Hang in there MrsG!


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 10/01/2012 12:01:25
Message:

My last day of efudex was Sunday
I just wonder how long it takes to heal up? Anyone know?
MrsG, hang in there!


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 10/01/2012 12:45:40
Message:

Everyone is probably a little different. The worst for me was the week after I finished.
Healing progressed very quickly from then. I was various shades of red through dark pinks for about a month after. Then just pink patches that "flushed" after exercise, washing my face or applying sunscreen for about another 2 months.


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 10/01/2012 16:52:32
Message:

Thanks for the reply! I'm just a little to anxious I guess. I've lost a lot of hair also, but that will grow back. I've learned alot from everyone on this board!


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 10/04/2012 10:04:25
Message:

Hi All - hope you are progressing OK . . . @Jack Russell - you seem to be experienced in 30 day and 60 day treatments - I'm on day 30 of my 60 day cycle - curious, will I experience the sloughing at the same time the 28 day peeps, or will I have to wait until the 60 day period . . . just trying to prepare for a wedding I would love to attend at the beginning of November and wondering if I'll need a "fascinator with a veil":)

MsDubbs - hope you are doing well . . . thanks for the encouragement:)


Reply author: pamos
Replied on: 10/06/2012 01:47:46
Message:

I am just about done with week 5 of Efudex. I finally called my derm today since I have been using it once a day and wanted to find out if I should use it until I stop getting a reaction to it or just stop after a specified amount of time. Of course I was only able to speak to a tech, and it seemed like I knew more about it then she did. In any case, the derm said to use it for 3 weeks. From this forum, that does not seem long enough, so I went to 5 weeks. I have had scabbing over for the last week and half. Just wondering if because I was only applying it once a day if I should go longer? I have been applying it to each cheek. Its been pretty sore and painful, today I resorted to putting ice packs on my face at work - thats always attractive. I just do not want to have to re-do the treatment.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 10/06/2012 09:05:55
Message:

Hi MrsG,
I reviewed your posts and was unable to determine the frequency of your applications. For me, I had applied Efudex twice a day to my face, ears and neck for 5 weeks. If you are on the same regime as I and you are about 33 days into it then you will soon pass my 35 days.
I recall it taking me two weeks after ending treatment to finish with most the peeling, and taking me about a month to fully return to normal. Actually, the first week after ending treatment you will make tremendous progress.
If you are applying it thru October and attending a wedding in early November, in say in the first week of November, then maybe think about the veil – and also consider it for the second week of November. By the third week at least you'll be feeling better about yourself even though its noticeable, but at least much of the peeling is over.
I will tell you though, just making it to the last day, that last application and knowing that, that is it. That is such a great feeling. You’ll be anxious to get the healing over with and get back to normal, but just that feeling that you have put the treatment behind you is so good.


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 10/06/2012 13:48:42
Message:

Thanks JackRussell - I started Labor Day in the evening and do two applications a day on my whole face . . . when I saw my derm two weeks later, she said to do two months - admittedly, I'm not sure if that is two months total, or two more months - regardless, I'm still trying to figure out what state I'll be in in the first week of November. If I remember correctly, you mentioned your gf at the time did 60 days, and your brother did three months . . . do you recall when they started major peeling - I've had some peeling, but does not sound like those I've read on blogs, so not sure if my system needs a few days of no FU before doing it's 'after' job . . . oh well, it is what it is - I'll start shopping for a veil:):)

Welcome pamos and good luck . . .

Happy Fall all - the colors are beautiful here - well, what I can see from the windows:):) Maybe I'll go for a ride tomorrow to check out the area - we live in the most beautiful area of America for Fall colors!!!!


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 10/07/2012 19:00:59
Message:

[Hi MrsG -
I asked my brother and girlfriend if they recall at what point they started to peel but they were unable. In my case it wasn't untill I stopped the treatment, which makes sense since I would think your skin cells would need to start regenerating for that to happen and that will not happen as long as you are on EF5.
My GF had basil cell which was being treated. My brother was taking it without a DR's guidance to treat what he (in his non-expert opinion) thought was pearl cell. Last I read EF5 was OK'd by the FDA only for AK & basil. I had melanoma on my neck which lit up when hit with EF5 (I later had this surgically removed). So it obviousely reacts to many non-normal cells. My brother went 90 days and we thought he had permanently scarred himself but after several months he was looking great.
I'm glad you are more than half way there - I'm really psyched for you. Come the end of November you are going to be amazed by how healthy your skin is.
You have come this far and I know you can go the distance.


Reply author: MrsG
Replied on: 10/10/2012 13:04:26
Message:

Hi All - thanks Jack for your info . . . well, I made it to 35 1/2 days - had an already schedule with my primary and she was not pleased with the stage of my face, so we all decided time to quit . . . now comes the aftermath . . . stay strong all:):)


Reply author: shaecakes
Replied on: 10/11/2012 14:54:37
Message:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello, newbie here. I found this site and have read it from the beginning. I am on day 10 of 2x a day and nothing yet other than a little fatigue and occational spot burning. I wonder, is this stuff just not working, or do I just not have any sun damage? I am doing the treatment because the derm did a biopsy on one of the little red raised spots on my shoulder and came back positive. I have a lot more of them and am putting this on my face, chest, shoulders and arms. My chest has the most. I just don't get why I have had no reaction. Anyone have any clues?


Reply author: pamos
Replied on: 10/12/2012 12:38:17
Message:

I was on it for over 3 weeks before I started to see any reaction. Trust me it will come! You are covering a lot of areas so don't get discouraged.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 10/12/2012 12:40:55
Message:

Hi Shaecakes -
After washing the area to be treated you must rub a dab of cream onto/into that area. Apply when the skin is dry. Do not wash this area until it is time for the next application. In my situation, I did not put any creams or other products on this area during the time of treatment.
In all cases with which I am familiar, during the first week (7 days) of treatment you are in the "getting pink" stage. After this period is when the more pronounced effects begin. At day ten, if you have sun damage then you should have more than a few red spots. You should be at a point where you are starting to see and feel the effects which have brought many people to this website. You should pretty much be at a point where you are becoming anxious and counting the days to when you can stop treatment.
Hope this helps.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 10/12/2012 12:47:15
Message:

MrsG -
What was it that the Dr saw that caused the Dr to discontinue?


Reply author: shaecakes
Replied on: 10/12/2012 14:47:07
Message:

Thanx everyone, I am only on a 14 day treatment, 2xs a day. If I don't show anything by the time I am done, should I contact the doc? After everything I have read, it almost seems like 14 days is very little time.


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 10/13/2012 03:57:19
Message:

Hey guys. I was prescribed 21 days Efudex twice a day by a dermatologist two years ago. He showed me pictures of people who had done enough and who had done too little. It was unpleasant and after 19 days I went back to my general practitioner to check as I had started to bleed into my pillow. He said I had done enough and to stop. I agreed.
I suggest people bear in mind
1) Efudex doesn't appear to cure melanoma ever, at all. Forget it. Actinic keratoses yes, BCC's yes, SCC's and Bowen's maybe if they are babies. The big M, no. It is open to question whether it will light them up, but I suspect it might. Won't kill them though.
2) there is some research which suggests a small amount of sun exposure during treatment potentiates the treatment (I didn't do this as it is too scary and inadequately researched)
3) My face is now fine and I have used the cream a couple of times to clear up stuff I missed (eg in the inside top of one ear for heaven's sake but it worked a treat in two weeks)
4) I pay these guys lots of money to tell me what to do. They have lots of experience of it. I don't, so I do what they say.
5) I strongly suspect the the treatment regime prescribed depends on the dermatologist's view of the extent and nature of the damage. Just do what they say. If it doesn't work you can try again, or something else. Love to all.


Reply author: 5FU Bootcamp Grad
Replied on: 10/14/2012 01:14:30
Message:

I completed seven weeks of 5% fluorouracil to my face and neck, once every other day for the first week, once a day for the second week, and twice a day during weeks three to seven. Before starting the treatment, I read everything that I could find on the Internet about what worked for other people. I want to share some things that I learned from my personal experience.

Removing dead tissue: Both my doctor and I was surprised at the extent of sun damage on my face and neck. About 25% of the skin on my face and 50% of the skin on my neck reacted to fluorocuracil and became necrotic. My husband joked that I looked like a burnt hotdog or marshmallow that had been held in the campfire too long. I initially decided not to actively debride any of the necrotic tissue present, but was forced to do so around week four because the surrounding tissue was starting to become red, warm and inflamed from the large amount of dead tissue present. I found that the easiest and most painless way to remove the dead tissue was in the shower. I found that if I allowed the steam and hot water to soften the dead tissue, it would easily come off with gentle rubbing using my fingers. To prevent infection, I washed my face, neck, hands, and fingernails thoroughly with chlorhexidine soap before and after. I debrided at my own pace, stopping whenever the pain was more than I was willing to tolerate and resuming when the pain was back at zero.

Pain control: I discovered that my face and neck would hurt only if I allowed my wounds to become exposed to air and dry out. I purchased and tried a lot of different products over the counter: Bacitracin (which I used while there was a large amount of necrotic tissue present and I was at high risk of developing a skin infection), petroleum jelly, organic castor oil, organic hydrogenated soybean oil, petroleum impregnated gauze, occlusive dressing, non-adherent dressing, etc. What worked for me and allowed me to remain almost pain free during the entire treatment was to liberally apply organic hydrogenated soybean oil (e.g., organic shortening) to the affected areas on my face and neck every four hours using a cotton swab (my Dermatologist really stressed the importance of using something organic because whatever was used would be absorbed into the body). After applying the organic hydrogenated soybean oil to my face and neck, I also covered my neck with non-adherent dressing, and to keep the non-adherent dressing from absorbing the oil and drying out, I covered the non-adherent dressing with a small piece of Saran wrap and held everything in place with a scarf. Because I didn't allow my wounds dry out and scab over, my wounds started to re-epithelialize right away and my wounds were completed healed in 3 weeks.

Hyperpigmentation following fluorouracil treatment: My understanding is that most people do not experience hyperpigmentation following treatment with fluorouracil. I recall only one person mentioning that it happened to her, and she said that her scars faded in 2-3 months. It was a concern of mine, and my dermatologist told me that I wouldn't scar from the treatment and was surprised when I did scar. I am now almost two months post treatment, and the scars on my face has almost completely faded. The scars on my neck will take a bit longer (2-3 years?) to completely fade. I wear sunscreen and a hat and avoid the sun, if I can, to prevent the scars on my face and neck from darkening.


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 10/14/2012 09:03:31
Message:

5FUGrad

Thanks for the detailed report...Wow! Congratulations! Sounds like you really had a lot of skin damage. This new protocol with 5FU is a lot different than what was prescribed 15-20 years ago. My sister used it but just for a week or so.

It is interesting to me in regards to the extent of damaged skin we all actually have.

The rub it everywhere and see where it reacts is a sure way to find all sun damaged skin, I just wonder if all of it would necessarily evolve into skin cancer.

There are so many people here using a myriad of alternative treatment I just don't know if I would go the 5FU route but for those that do, If you do the 5 week protocol it sounds like it is sure you are going to remove all damaged areas for a long while.


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 10/23/2012 23:38:51
Message:

I've been finished with Efudex for 3 weeks and my hair is still falling out. Anyone else had this problem?


Reply author: samrad
Replied on: 10/24/2012 10:28:50
Message:

I am on my second time around with efudex. The first time was 5 yrs ago when I did my face, chest and neck.I had an excellent reaction according to my Dermatologist, I applied the cream 2x day for 21 days. I am now doing my neck and chest again, holding off on my face as I do not want to take time off work as I did before, as I stayed in and hibernated for 3 months, too embarrassed to go out in public.
As soon as I applied the Efudex this time within 2 days I had nasty red areas everywhere. I cannot really understand as to WHY this has happened again as I have never exposed myself to the sun especially the chest, the neck is exposed just naturally, but I have always used a high % sunscreen. It makes me wonder if all this pain and inconvenience is worth going through if it is not clearing up. This time the areas are larger as compared to the pictures I took before and is seems much more tight and painful and itchy. I am doing 5 weeks 2x day.


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 10/25/2012 11:48:51
Message:

Hi Samrad! I don't have an answer for you, but someone will come along that knows more about it than me. Good luck with the treatment!


Reply author: Dianne57
Replied on: 11/18/2012 18:28:30
Message:

OK, I am doing my face with Efudex in sections. My doctor has me doing 2 weeks and wanted me to do my face all at once. I am curious if anyone knows if you repeat it again in 90 days do you have the same reaction or is it much less.


Reply author: MsDubbs
Replied on: 11/21/2012 22:29:56
Message:

I haven't had to repeat yet, but see the doc. Nov. 29th and hope he says I don't have to. I did the efudex for 6 weeks though. There's pics and links in some of the older posts if you want an idea of what to expect. Betty


Reply author: ghostcat
Replied on: 01/24/2013 14:35:23
Message:

I just finished using 5% fluorouracil on my entire face. I was prescribed a 3 week treatment twice a day but decided to quit at day 20 due to a severe bloody nose. Granted, I have chronic nosebleeds but this one was really bad and one of the possible serious side-effects of 5FU is thrombocytopenia, which is difficulty clotting, which can cause bleeding into the brain. This bleed did not respond to the nose spray as usual, so since I had had a pretty good response to the FU, I chose to stop 2 days short. I notice that some posters here recommend an extended course but I would hope that everyone will check with their doctor on that. I'm still doing the backs of my hands as prescribed by my trusty dermatologist. Her reasoning for the 3-weeks to the face and 4-weeks to the hands is that the skin turnover for the face is 3 weeks whereas for the hands, 4 weeks. So unless your doc states you should go further, I really wouldn't do it. FU is certainly a very miserable treatment, but I would rather do an additional one in the future, if it is necessary, than prolong the misery unnecessarily and risk some dangerous side-effects. Best wishes to everyone.


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 01/24/2013 16:28:11
Message:

thanks for posting ghostcat. I was talking to a buddy about fu today and he said that one week is all that is needed. he also gets nose bleeds real bad so I will warn him.


Reply author: Sutiro
Replied on: 01/25/2013 19:37:43
Message:

I am at day 10 of applying efudix twice daily and not a lot is happening yet. The cream does not absorb and has been sitting on the skin caking up with each application. Is this normal or should I clean it off before each application?


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 01/26/2013 09:13:34
Message:

Caking up? That does not sound like Efudex. Efudex has a sllightly grease-like feel. You apply it to clean skin cleared of all make up, lotions, everything, in a very very thin coat. Wash your face with water before every application. It is best not to apply any lotions, make up or anything over it during the course of tratment. Within a very short time there is really no redidue.
If you apply twice a day, once in the morning and then aging 12 hours later, then by day seven your face will begin to turn reddish in those places where there is sun damage. If there is no sun damage then there will be no red.
Either it is not Efudex or you are applying it over or under something else like make up, etc.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 01/26/2013 17:17:05
Message:

Sutiro, like JackRussell, I have to say that the cream itself shouldn't be caking up, unless you aren't removing it or using far too much, or applying it on top of makeup or something. My first tube was thicker in consistency than the second, but it never caked.

Or did you mean it's caking up because you're applying it over scabby, peeling skin?
I found this rather tricky to do and uncomfortable (and later on in treatment... a bit of a relief getting some moisture on my skin, even if it was Efudex) but it never caked per se.

Either way, I agree with Jack... wash your face prior to each application (with a mild cleanser if your skin is very tender) and then apply a thin layer to your skin. Do not apply anything at all prior to application of Efudex, just in the off chance you are doing so.


Reply author: Sutiro
Replied on: 01/26/2013 21:16:55
Message:

deruo & jack russell thanks for your quick responses. The cream is marketed as Efudix in Australia but it seems to be the real deal - Fluorouracil 5% w/w. The instructions that come with it basically say to do everything in accordance with what the doctor says. All my doctor said was to use it one spot at a time with a new spot every two weeks and not to come back complaining of the pain if I use more than that. His skin clinic is a surgery and is always booked out. I've had 8 BCCs cut out so far at $300 a go, so I understand why they are reluctant to promote Efudix. It empowers the patient and reduces the demand for surgeries. I won't be going back to that doctor so I am self medicating at the moment while travelling in SE Asia.

The cream is water resistant and so far I have had no nasty side effects. The ulceration is commencing under the cream and I'm getting a tingling feeling particularly when I bend down. I am a male, so no cosmetics or anything else are being used. It might be a new generation of the cream that I am using? On the packet it lists all the side effects but it also says that I may not experience any of these, fingers crossed. Anyway I'll try removing the old cream before applying the new. Thanks again for your help.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 01/26/2013 21:42:55
Message:

Hi Sutiro,

Okay, I think some of our confusion may be over what you're using. I notice that in Australia it's called Efudix vs Efudex in other parts of the world. Essentially the same 5% Fluorouracil. I also see that Efudix comes in an ointment form and yours could have been manufactured by ICN.

Efudex (made by Valeant out of Quebec, Canada, and possibly others) comes in cream form or at least thats what I used and am familiar with.

Obviously, the ointment would be water resistant and I can see where it may clump. Actually, I think that may be a better way to go as my face was so dry and tight (and painful) that I used Aquaphor (an ointment) to get relief.

I would still try to wash as much of the old product off before you apply a fresh batch. It's interesting you mentioned the tingling when you bent over. My face usually started tingling at night. Like a million mosquito bites all at once. It was fine during the day... just happened at night - usually around midnight. So much so that I couldn't sleep without some heavy duty help.

In any event, I'm not surprised at how busy your Dr is. Most of my Australian friends have had or know someone who's gone through this, and even my Dr here in Canada does little else but treating AKs and sun-damaged skin.

Hang in there!


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 01/28/2013 14:51:21
Message:

Hi Sutiro -
Something you mentioned in your post caught my eye. You mention surgery, usually that is performed on basal cell. If that is in fact what you are treating then 2 weeks is inadequate. Really, 2 weeks is inadequate for pretty much all actenic and basal, but Dr's have resigned themselves to prescribibg the 2-week therapy because such a high proportion of the people who do this cannot tolerate the discomfort. Since 2 weeks will kill, say, 60% of what needs to be killed, Dr's figure let just do the 2 and be thankful and then in a another year or two do another two weeks.. and so on. With Basal cell, you must treat it aggressively, which usually means 6 weeks minimum. My girlfriend had basal cell surgically removed and required two follow up cosmetic surgeries to fix the scar. The next time she needed basal cell removed I talked her into Efudex. She braved through 8 weeks. Three 3 months after treatment she looked great. (She should be here touting the benefits of Effudex. She is so glad she went that route, pain and all.)
P.S. Stay out of the sun. Efudex makes you overly suseptable to photo damage. And going forward after treatment you will be suseptable even more than before treatment.


Reply author: Sutiro
Replied on: 01/28/2013 23:51:03
Message:

Thanks Jack
I'll do it for as long as I can stand it. Day 13 and so far it's a doddle???l (I'll regret saying that) No pain but things are slowly starting to happen. My wife cleaned off the caked on cream on my forehead with a cotton bud. At least 10 raw sunspots can be seen. I'll have to postpone my modelling career:)


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 01/29/2013 18:34:30
Message:

So should someone who cannot avoid the sun, not do Efudex?


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 02/08/2013 12:39:03
Message:

Hi Dolfan - Sorry for the late response.
If you cannot avoid the sun then you will have to put on 50 spf and cover up as much as possible. Up until now, many of us have gotten use to doing very little for protection from the sun. Protecting ourselves seems a big inconvenience but it is just what we have to live with going forward. I have actually changed some of what I do outside so that I am in the direct sun less often.


Reply author: Sutiro
Replied on: 02/10/2013 19:48:06
Message:

I'm now on day 4 of the recovery period. I stopped the Efudix treatment after 21 days, not because of pain or discomfort, (apart from pus running down my face at night) but because I felt it had done its job. I've had no trouble showering. It was actually quite soothing. Redness appeared mainly around the heavy ulceration and didn't spread further. I used lots of vaseline on these areas. It is one of the best moisturizers and costs very little. The wound is healing very quickly now but it is still heavily scabbed.

I think now that everyone reacts differently to the treatment. I am keeping a photographic record of it all and will find a forum to post it on to help someone else considering the treatment.


Reply author: DONAL101
Replied on: 02/20/2013 14:01:26
Message:

Hi, my first post here. For the last few years I have had a number of scaly patches across my forehead, temples and nose. I am 41 years of age, Irish and naturally have very fair skin with freckles. I have also had a fair exposure to sun over the years. I went to a Dermatologist who prescribed me Efudix 5%. I applied the Efudix as a spot treatment only as opposed to applying to the whole face. After day 3, about 15 red spots stated to appear, by day 7 these spots are now looking very angry. My Dermatologist advised me that this would happen but nothing can prepare you for the mess it makes of your face ! I am a Police officer and deal with the public every day, I am now very conscious of how I look and am considering how i deal with this. I am only at day 7 and I am thinking of stoping the treatment to the 15 spots and apply to 3 spots at a time. I know this would take the next 9-12 months to treat my whole face but the visual impact would be less alarming. Has anybody tried this ? What happens if you stop the treatment after only 7 days, will the red spots disappear ? ......


Reply author: blsnbelles
Replied on: 02/20/2013 15:56:51
Message:

No I did my whole face a year a go in April. By June my face was pretty much clear. I must admit I was shocked at the amount of cancerous cells I had on my face and, when I go back to my dermo in April and if I have to do it again I would. I didn't stop going out in public and offered information to people letting them know that I was doing chemo on my face because I'm a Melanoma survivor. I can't tell you how many people knew about the treatment or heard of someone they know that has done it. Some knew what was up with the sores on my face and asked if I was using Fluororacil (Efudix). Otherwise I knew it wasn't forever and if someone didn't like it too bad it wasn't there health that was at risk, it was mine.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 02/20/2013 16:41:32
Message:

Donal101, welcome! Your skin sounds very similar to mine, but I didn't see any nastiness until about week two. When I started my dermo suggested I do my forehead first and then the rest of my face. I did the whole shot at once and I'm glad I did. Yes, it was trying but I was worried that if I did one part of my face, I may never get around to doing the rest. I would advise against stopping the treatment without consulting your Dr. and sticking with it as he/she suggested. I think most people here would suggest sticking it out and going to the max. Just my 2 cents.


Reply author: blsnbelles
Replied on: 02/20/2013 17:31:28
Message:

My hubby was told by the dermo to do his nose only about 6 months ago so, Donal101 good for you, now what do I tell my hubby to get his nose done finally, although I agree with deruo the whole face is much better at once rather than fooling with it throughout a year. And I actually meant to say "pre cancerous" cells. The efudix won't do anything to parts of the face that haven't any pc cells. At least that is what I found on my face.


Reply author: DONAL101
Replied on: 02/21/2013 02:04:29
Message:

Many thanks, i will consult with my dermatologist to wee what options he suggests, in the mean time I will battle on........


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 03/02/2013 06:46:53
Message:

I'm on day 12 of Efudex on my chest and it is starting to get active. I like the way it takes so long, because it gets you in a routine of applying the cream, before the reaction starts.


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 03/03/2013 13:43:19
Message:

wow! things are cooking now


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 03/13/2013 19:14:04
Message:

I cannot imagine doing my face.


Reply author: andrewecd
Replied on: 03/21/2013 02:35:16
Message:

I am 49 male and on day 18. I was prescribed 14 days for face and had scabs etc falling off, but had some Efudex left so went for 17 days till tube empty. Must be mad, I know! Tightens up a lot after you stop and now crazy itching, burning etc. Nose and cheeks are cracked and on fire.
I couldn't get any appointment as had concerns on day 14. Doctor was "too busy" (nice to hear that as a patient) so eventually spoke to her on the phone.
She did say some people need to extend treatment, others considerably less, depends on many factors....Ok, so wouldn't it make sense to schedule another appointment at 10 or 14 days to check on my progress!!!
She also said overuse of Efudex can damage our skin that is trying to heal if used too long. The 3 extra days I did would not be a problem, though.
My only advice would be to make a few appointments before you start so the Derm can assess your situation/progress etc. They were always too busy once I had started!
Wonder what the next week will bring..?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 03/21/2013 10:04:35
Message:

Andrewecd, I suspect you'll have a couple of days of tightening and peeling as the stuff continues to work for a period of time after you've stopped using it. Not to worry, I think a week from now you'll be much less red and the cracking and itching will resolve quite quickly. After a week I had a lovely red glow that was still pretty bad (who's kidding who!) but it was a GREAT deal better.

Good advice about pre-booking appointments.


Reply author: andrewecd
Replied on: 03/21/2013 16:20:19
Message:

Thanks Deruo. Yes, still tightening. Was peeling before i stopped the cream, but more bits still to come I imagine. The tightness and stinging make my eyes water a lot. I would make a great Halloween zombie.


Reply author: andrewecd
Replied on: 03/22/2013 08:21:20
Message:

Still summer-ish in Sydney and always seem to have the sun in my face when driving to work and on the way home. I think the sun is playing games with my solar nuked face? If I have to do it again it will be in winter. Itching and soreness is better than yesterday. Still shedding skin and now waiting for cheeks to explode..!! Iam on day 20 now and 3 days off Efudex
Anyone else currently Efudexing?


Reply author: dolfan
Replied on: 03/23/2013 07:09:57
Message:

My chest is completely healed, but does not look any different than before I used it. I'm not sold on efudex as a cure, but more as a wake up call as to what my future holds for me. It is going to take 10 tubes to treat all of my areas. LOL


Reply author: DannyB
Replied on: 04/08/2013 17:20:00
Message:

I used efudex as prescribed for a month and never got a reaction.


Reply author: andrewecd
Replied on: 04/09/2013 17:32:51
Message:

Danny, from what I understand that is good as you have no abnormal cells to react?


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 04/10/2013 07:58:20
Message:

Danny -
I would be highly suspect if no reaction whatsoever was seen after one month. Either the product was defective or it wasn't being applied properly. It has to be applied twice a day to clean dry skin. For an area the size of the face you will use a tube in not much more than 2 weeks. You cannot apply anything to the face for at least 2 hours after applying it.
It is vertually impossible not to get a reaction after 30 days. Inevitably, over that amount of time, the Effudex would effect some normal cells. Effudex is carpet bombing and some good cells get called up in the campaigne.


Reply author: Sutiro
Replied on: 05/07/2013 18:52:27
Message:

I'd like to do one more post to sum up my experience. It may provide some feedback for those considering the treatment. I completed a 21 day, two applications per day regime on my forehead in February. Fourteen days later a two square inch scab peeled off leaving a smooth pink patch of skin. This patch is still evident three months later. I then commenced another regime on a larger area on the top of my head with the efudix cream I had left. I had enough for two applications per day for ten days and then once per day for three days more, then let it heal. The skin reacted within two days with lots of neon lights appearing. The whole process was completed in three weeks and the result was excellent. Ten sunspots were completely removed, no blemishes and the skin left smooth. I'm of the opinion that for me the 21day, twice a day regime was overkill and it burnt the skin more than was necessary. I am an obvious fan of efudix and am pleased to be able to have control of the condition into the future. I hope this has been of help to someone and thank you to those who provided me with feedback when I needed it.

Cheers


Reply author: Snitz
Replied on: 05/14/2013 16:24:01
Message:

Here in the UK, they don't tell you anything about what the treatment is going to be like. You get given a leaflet that shows the stages of the treatment, red skin, peeling etc, but no mention of the pain.

I did the treatment for 4 weeks and after day two, it started to burn. By day 7, I was in agony. I didn't bother with painkillers or cream to try and cool my skin down. I just persevered. I would look at the leaflet, showing the guy on week 3, with a smile and I would think.."Wait till I get hold of you, you lyin barsteward!"

After the 4 weeks were up, I looked like an extra out of 'Burning Inferno'

Local schools asked me to come do a talk on the 'Dangers of Masturbation'!

The local Red Cross group asked if I would come along on a Monday evening so their volunteers could practise on a burn victim!

When the the traffic lights up the road blew a fuse, the council asked if I would stand in as a STOP sign!

Two weeks later though and the skin sloughed off and I was left with skin that hadn't been that soft since I was in nappies.

It didn't get rid of it all though. I still get a few spots back on my nose and head.

Would I use it again?

Yes, it is still better than having lumps cut out of you..


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 05/15/2013 21:55:21
Message:

Snitz...funny stuff for a not so funny journey...

Cool that you can joke about it now..

Glad you healed up and thanks for sharing your experience

Tom


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 05/15/2013 22:51:16
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Snitz

Here in the UK, they don't tell you anything about what the treatment is going to be like. You get given a leaflet that shows the stages of the treatment, red skin, peeling etc, but no mention of the pain.


This seems to be fairly common in other countries too, Snitz. My Dr. told me I "may experience a little bit of reddening". An understatement if ever I heard one. I didn't even find out it was a topical chemotherapy drug until I got odd looks from the Pharmacist and decided to Google what it was I had just purchased, while in the parking lot sitting in the car.

Drs. need to realize that some patients want to know what to expect, especially when we start looking like napalm burn victims and can't get in to see the Dr. We'd like to know as much as we can beforehand.


Reply author: FionaKirk
Replied on: 07/06/2013 00:34:22
Message:

Hi, I'm hoping there are still people on this forum.

I started my Efudix treatment 6 days ago. I was never told by my Cancer Specialist of the degree of this treatment nor that it was Chemotherapy. So to eliminate time off work I combined having my 4 wisdom teeth extracted on Monday (today is Saturday), I also started Efudix Monday night. I ended up with an infection in one extraction and an ear ache, so have been taking Codeine and amoxicillin. I am wondering if these medications would have stopped the Efudix working correctly as I have had very little reaction at all. Glad for no reaction as I read more and more about it, but also want my BCC's to go already having a 5cm tumor removed from my peck area. I am treating me whole face due to 4 BCC and several precancerous areas. Appreciate any help.

Fi


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 07/06/2013 06:48:24
Message:

FionaKirk, I seriously doubt that codeine and amoxicillin would have any effect on the Efudex/Efudix reaction. (In fact, the codeine may be handy to have in a few weeks! ;-) I seem to recall that it was about a week to 9 days before I started seeing any real reaction after applying 2x per day. You didn't mention but how many times per day are you applying and for how many weeks?


Reply author: FionaKirk
Replied on: 07/06/2013 11:19:10
Message:

Thank you so much Deruo for your reply. It's so nice to know someone who has been there and is willing to be around and still answer questions. I wish you were sitting here with me holding my hand as I am quite scared about the whole thing. I will advise everyone not to have teeth extracted the same week you start this, but I guess I wouldn't have done that should I have known the full extent of what Efudix is. I will make sure I keep those codiene on hand then for a few weeks time. Thank you again from Canberra AU


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 07/11/2013 18:48:23
Message:

How are you doing FionaKirk?


Reply author: FionaKirk
Replied on: 07/11/2013 21:32:40
Message:

Good Afternoon, I think I will call you my hero! You did 30 days? I am at day 11 and very red itchy and sore and can't believe I have 10 days to go. I am thankfully not at work but will be Monday week because my boss is a grump and time off always puts him out. Funny I am at a loss for words, not usual for me - I think being quiet in my mind helps....

Fiona x


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 07/12/2013 06:33:35
Message:

I have used Efudex several times but recently my doctor prescribed a new treatment - Picato. It effectively does in 3 days what Efudex does in 2 weeks. It can only be used on small areas at a time and is pretty new - I think developed in Australia but has been available in USA for several months; available in Australia only for a few months. I am very happy with the results and was only out of action for a week as opposed to several weeks with Efudex


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 07/12/2013 10:31:54
Message:

Picato sounds very interesting Cheeno. If you hadn't mentioned it here I never would have spent an hour reading about it this am instead of working! ;-) I'd jump at the chance to do in 3 days what took 21-30 with Efudex. It would seem to be a walk in the park comparibly speaking. I have a followup with my Dr in November for my 6 month check-up so maybe I'll ask her about it.

Fiona, I think anyone that has done a treatment of Efudex is a hero. Believe me there were days where I was ready to give up, especially towards the end. I skipped a treatment and then felt guilty and worried whether skipping that one would mean having to do it all over again. That inspired me to continue. Now that it's a distant memory, I'd only hesitate a little to do it again.


Reply author: Nutty
Replied on: 07/14/2013 02:38:13
Message:

I have almost finished 4 weeks x twice a day of Efudix treatment.3 days to go! Reading everyone's comments has really helped, I was told very little about the treatment except that the skin had to get very red and sore for the cream to work. I only had a few patches, but the cream has picked up lots of places that I didn't realise I had. I have had to carry on working - I teach, but the kids have been very good, although I haven't given them all the details. My face is very sore now, but I'm looking forward to Wednesday when I can stop. Can anyone suggest some cream to help the recovering process? How long should my skin take to get back to normal? Thanks to everyone who has posted their experiences, it has really helped.


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 07/14/2013 11:25:10
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Nutty

Can anyone suggest some cream to help the recovering process? How long should my skin take to get back to normal?



Nutty, I found that anything cream-based hurt too much for the first few days after treatment ended. I only used a product called Aquaphor (which is much like Vaseline or petroleum jelly) for a few days to relieve the tightness. After that, I applied nothing except sunscreen (if I was going outside). You will probably find that the first few days after treatment ends to be the worst as the Efudex continues to do its stuff. Then, the intense redness, flaking and pain subsides quite quickly. You'll probably be amazed at what a difference a week makes. Mind you you'll probably be various shades of pink for several months, and I found that the patchy pink patches would intensify after washing or applying sunscreen/moisturizer to my face, for about an hour or so. I think it was about 4 months before I think my skin was back to normal. Most of my friends thought it was back to normal well before that.

As far as cream to help the recovery process, I don't think that is necessary, though your Dr. may have other ideas, depending how raw and oozing you are by day 30.

Hang in there, those last few days are difficult!


Reply author: jamesd
Replied on: 07/14/2013 11:56:02
Message:

after cancer is dead try a poltice of flaxseed meal mixed with hotwater to form a paste cover with steril dressing wash and change daily cancer will fall out when ready 7 to 10 days we use a mixture of 10 drops iodine, 10 drops carbolic acid, one quarter teaspoon copper sulfate ground super fine to 3.5 ounce jar vaseline. hardley ever leaves a scar, be careful, getting hard to find good iodine, carbolic acid the best antiseptic ever, almost impossible


Reply author: FionaKirk
Replied on: 07/16/2013 00:03:08
Message:

Good Afternoon to fellow Efudix survivors :)). I am now at day 15 it seems forever ago that I started and forever to go to get to day 21. I have thank goodness not turned red to 100% of my face but a good 85%. It is truly amazing to see the size of cancer in my face and the depth it seems to be. I had a fantastic response fairly quickly to the large areas of cancer but only in the last 3 days many smaller ones so maybe they were deeper, I'm not sure? But I do have another appointment at the Cancer Clinique in two days to see if they are going to extent treatment another week... I sooooo hope not! In way of relief the Doctor at the Cancer Clinique told me to wash my face with QV it is a cream and cleanser but has no chemicals perfumes etc. it is an incredible relief does stings a tad at first but gives a little relief before having to apply efudix again. They said to use QV cream once I finish too to help with putting moisture back into the skin as it heals. She also said no matter how tempting it is do not rub or peel skin off, do not rub under water to get it off just let it fall off naturally and you will have less burning and tenderness. Anyway that's just some of my experience.

Oh and a big thank you to Deruo who has been a wonderful help through all of this xoxo


Reply author: andrewecd
Replied on: 07/16/2013 19:38:05
Message:

Fiona. Not long to go, good luck. It is well worth the journey in the end. You will get many comments on how great your skin looks when all over. I was told to use the QV cream also. It worked very well. I continue to use it after shaving.


Reply author: drboyd
Replied on: 07/18/2013 00:33:54
Message:

Sorry to jump in at the tail end (or maybe not) of this thread, but I just finished my last day of efudex (21 days times 1/day) this morning. I plan to tell the doctor that it will be quicker, easier, and less painful to do this next time with a welding torch.

My face looks roughly like I was dragged behind a cattle truck by my heels - and to make it worse, I've been in a large meeting for two days now (one more day to go) and I'm wearing a baseball cap pulled low over my bright red forehead - so I don't scare the nice people. And of course, the cap just makes my forehead itch all the more.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to start with some antibiotic ointment and cortisone - hopefully my life will start to be ever-so-slightly less wretched as time passes.

Eeeewwwrf! That's what I say about efudex!


Reply author: Matt
Replied on: 07/23/2013 02:15:37
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Cheeno

I have used Efudex several times but recently my doctor prescribed a new treatment - Picato. It effectively does in 3 days what Efudex does in 2 weeks. It can only be used on small areas at a time and is pretty new - I think developed in Australia but has been available in USA for several months; available in Australia only for a few months. I am very happy with the results and was only out of action for a week as opposed to several weeks with Efudex



G'day Cheeno,

I have been given the same advise by my Dermatologist as you did in regards to Efudix for treating AK on my forehead, a nine week program of applying it twice a day on Saturday and Sunday only. I think my dermatologist believed I worked a 5 day week when I actually do 21 days on 7 days off!. How did this regime work for you?, did it successfully clear the AK, BCC's?. How bad did your skin flare up?. Sorry for the questions, it's just I'm about to start my 21 day swing in the middle of nowhere and would like to know what to expect. My Derm said very little, didn't say anything about it being a chemo drug and just said I'd get a smaller reaction this way, nothing about how much smaller mind you!.
I've noticed your now going down the Picato route, I am tempted to look into this because I have been advised it is quicker and just as effective..

Matt


Reply author: Cheeno
Replied on: 07/24/2013 08:06:03
Message:

I didn't get as strong a reaction to the twice a week over several weeks Efudex treatment as I had hoped for. That's why my doctor tried Picato - I had a very good reaction to Picato and it was much quicker - very red and scabby for 4 - 5 days then cleared up very quickly. It is only for use on a small area at a time.
With the extended Efudex treatment I didn't really flare up badly at all - just some mild redness and at no time did I feel that I couldn't be seen in public. I found it tedious to continue for the extended time - 10 - 12 weeks


Reply author: zengrrl
Replied on: 09/27/2013 00:44:00
Message:

Hello All - in whatever time era you read this,

Thanks for this great forum of users, where we can learn so much more than from our practitioners! I'm Day 8 of 14 days 2x/d for Actinic Keratosis on my nose & a spot on my wrist. While I have 4 small bright red open spots + a reddened background matrix over the rest of my nose, I'm not having pain, only discomfort so far. The derm MD had recently excised a patch on my nose as a containment + biopsy tho, so that part of my nose was brand new skin anyway. It seems like the pain reaction may be related to severity of the skin problem & the amount of surface area involved. Some people here had to treat a lot more area than I'm doing.

In the previous 20 yrs of AK treatment with other derm MDs, my nose was "treated" with Vaseline, retinol, cut, frozen & most recently (before fu5) was Aldara, which made me grow a few "horns" as it reacted with hidden spots. The removals gave about 1-1.5 yrs clean & the Aldara gave me 2+ yrs the first x, but only about 6 mos the second x. So I chose fu5 out of the 3 options the current derm MD gave me - hoping that the bio-chemical approach seemed at least more effective than just removal & I hadn't tried fu5 yet.

Many strong spirits on the site & generous to spend time helping others going through this journey. The variability in regimes is confusing - hopefully rationally related to the specific Needs of the individual situation, but the MDs are not doing enough education with their patients to explain about the spectrum or regime. This site is so helpful to fill in that deficit!


Reply author: craigeppelstun
Replied on: 09/28/2013 21:32:19
Message:

I am 44 fair skinned australian builder male and have sun damaged skin.
I am on day 6 and of effedex and at this moment have no effects from the ointment


Reply author: Deb333
Replied on: 10/01/2013 21:42:03
Message:

Can anyone tell me what I can use for pain when I start efudex cream for my lips?


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/02/2014 11:46:39
Message:

Starting 14 day treatment 2X a day this coming Monday. After researching effects I'm quite concerned. My treatment of Efudex will be on bridge of nose and cheeks. The Dr. said to use Aquafor to ease discomfort. Anyone know if it's ok to use during treatment?


Reply author: deruo
Replied on: 01/02/2014 21:07:40
Message:

Jans109,
Yes, it is okay to use during treatment, but you should wait at least 2 or 3 hours after applying the Efudex before putting the Aquaphor on.
If you read through all the pages here, you'll get a difference of opinion on it's usage, but I don't think I started using it until week 3. You may not need to use it at all if you're only doing a 14 day treatment. If memory serves, I don't think I saw much of a reaction at all until day 7 or 8.

It really helped loosen up the tightness on my face (I did my entire face and scalp at once), during my 4th week of treatment, and the first few days after treatment finished. The important thing is to not apply it right away as you want the Efudex to sink into the skin to do its thing before applying anything on top of it that may reduce it's effectiveness. Don't put on too much as it can be difficult to wash off later, and your skin will be tender, so you don't want to wash it that vigorously.

Good luck with your treatment!


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 01/03/2014 06:53:21
Message:

....also Jans109, I found that patting a little cold water on my face throughout the day offered some relief. Your treatment though, will be as much psychological as physical. Pace yourself. In the end, I found it a healthy exercise in learning to appreciate what some other people have to live with as a permanent condition and to appreciate that I am fortunate. (PS - I had a little flaky skin on the bridge that Effudex cleared up. But now almost 7 years after it has returned. I wish I did 6 instead of 4&1/2 weeks.)


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/03/2014 10:48:23
Message:

deruo,
Thanks for the reply! I'm so nervous about starting this treatment, but know I have no choice. I am so fortunate in only being prescribed the 14 day treatment, I hope! I would hate to have to start it all over again. I hope you are right and I won't need the Aquafor at all, but I am sceptical there. I'll keep you posted after I begin treatment. Again, thanks!


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/03/2014 10:53:38
Message:

JackRussell,
Thanks for the reply and advice. I will use your suggestion of patting water on my face. I've also read about cold compresses. I agree that this will be as much psychological as physical. I've come to terms with it and now just want it to be done. And you are right, there are so many other people on this forum with much more severe problems. I am thankful for the small areas I have to treat.. I think one of the reasons my derm. only prescribed the 14 day treatment and on the small area is because I am a VERY senior lady! So he probably thinks I'll kick the bucket before I need more! I might fool him though! :)


Reply author: mmj
Replied on: 01/09/2014 14:42:37
Message:

6 days left I have to work this weekend and I really need to wear foundation............I hope this doesn't mess up the work I have done


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/10/2014 05:05:58
Message:

MMJ,
I am on day 5 of my 14 day treatment and so far I've had almost no reaction. Just a little redness in some spots. From what I have researched, I would advise against makeup. I know that's difficult, but I personally don't want to risk any problems that may cause. What reactions have you had? I'm staying inside fearing worse reactions from the sun. I am a 76 yr old woman and only treating the bridge of my nose and cheeks areas. I'm "on hold" waiting to discover what's in store from Efudex!


Reply author: mmj
Replied on: 01/11/2014 03:36:57
Message:

well it showed through anyway after a couple hrs.....so today I will just face it...I work in a nursing home and don't want my residents to be upset for me,,,,,,when I first started I thought boy there isn't much here....BUT it it really worked in the middle of my face from forehead to chin and on my chest my Dr said to put on the bridge of my nose ...his nurse said do the whole face as it will not hurt good cells.....glad I did all at once..............I have been a sun lover all my life and I am now 67.....and still go to MX will just use sunscreen here on out


Reply author: mmj
Replied on: 01/11/2014 03:40:03
Message:

also don't stop ....you have to make it up on the end....I am doing 21 days...done next wed.....it burns some and itches but I am told the end results are worth it.....get rid of those nasty cells


Reply author: dipendy
Replied on: 01/11/2014 08:18:13
Message:

Hello everyone. I have recently been prescribed efudex cream. I am concerned about using this on arms face chest and neck around my three ur old grand daughter. Does anyone know if it is safe to have on me with her around. Dr says ok as long as its dry but what if I sweat or she licks me (she likes to pretend she's a dog lol) any help would be appreciated.


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 01/11/2014 09:34:27
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by dipendy

Hello everyone. I have recently been prescribed efudex cream. I am concerned about using this on arms face chest and neck around my three ur old grand daughter. Does anyone know if it is safe to have on me with her around. Dr says ok as long as its dry but what if I sweat or she licks me (she likes to pretend she's a dog lol) any help would be appreciated.



Hi Dipendy...I moved this into the Efudex forum...

Efudex is VERY powerful stuff with lots of side effects on adults. I would be VERY careful around a child with it... I recommend you going back to your doctor and reminding him that you have a 3 year old...get his recomendation...and also his opinion ( if he has one) on picato gel.

Picato Gel is a new FDA approved cream that is very effective without near the toxicity of Efudex...

Good luck


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/11/2014 11:08:13
Message:

dipendy,
I believe you are correct in being concerned about a 3 yr old around this stuff. I am only treating my nose and cheek areas and am concerned about touching after applying (before it's dry)and somehow getting it in my eyes or nostrils. I have rhinitis and have a constant runny nose. This is toxic stuff and pretty scary! I am on day 6 and still waiting for reactions. But you're having heavy duty treatment. Good luck!! I hope it all goes well with you. Keep us all informed!


Reply author: dipendy
Replied on: 01/13/2014 04:44:46
Message:

Thank you both for the info. That was the first question I asked my Dr. Is about it being around my grandchild and he said ily would b safe as long as its dry. I wasn't convinced as u said since its so rough on adults. I'm so appreciative for the responses. Best of luck for you all.


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/13/2014 06:59:56
Message:

On my 8th day of treatment and have some red spots now although not much discomfort yet. My main treatment is on my nose. Having rhinitis I use a lot of Kleenex. A couple times I have inadvertently wiped some medication off before it's completely dry. Can someone tell me if I should reapply or not?

Having a hard time trying to figure how to "post" rather than "reply". Duh


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 01/20/2014 04:43:11
Message:

Finished 14 day of 2x a day treatment yesterday. Now I wait to see what happens next. Very little discomfort so far. Have spots on bridge of nose and one cheek. No visible reaction on other cheek so far. I feel so fortunate in comparison to others here on this forum, but will continue to report back for those that are receiving the 14 day treatment. Over and out.


Reply author: mmj
Replied on: 01/20/2014 14:33:25
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Jans109

Finished 14 day of 2x a day treatment yesterday. Now I wait to see what happens next. Very little discomfort so far. Have spots on bridge of nose and one cheek. No visible reaction on other cheek so far. I feel so fortunate in comparison to others here on this forum, but will continue to report back for those that are receiving the 14 day treatment. Over and out.


Reply author: mmj
Replied on: 01/20/2014 14:47:29
Message:

I just finished my Efudex 5 days ago...it is peeling and at night I bleed a bit but it is clearing up I am glad I did it....it wasn't the most fun I have had but the outcome will be worth it....I did the 21 days 2x daily for 1 week and then 1x daily for 2 weeks..................I did get a lot of reaction ...I WILL USE SUNSCREEN it seems to be clearing rather quickly
update.......I have been off efudex 10 days .....and my skin is a little redden in areas but it is healed......I AM VERY glad I went through this......


Reply author: dipendy
Replied on: 02/01/2014 06:30:25
Message:

Thanks for the help. I am just getting the efudex due to the expense. I also have decided to only great areas I can cover for the safety of my grandchild. This will be day one so anyone with side effect warnings or tips are appreciated. I will also keep my bed and bath locked to prevent my lil one from being around this medicatuon. I have to say I'm scared but seeing everyone on here strength does help much love and thanks to you all


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 02/01/2014 09:53:15
Message:

At day 27 after 14 day 2X daily treatment. Finished treatment and waited for the worse. Other than looking kind of "bad", with redness, peeling and some crusting, plus a bit of itchiness and some pain, I feel I have been really lucky. Of course, my doctor hasn't looked at my face yet. He didn't want to see me again until March! (sound familiar?) So I await his verdict. I started using makeup again a couple days ago and almost feel my normal self, even with a little peeling, etc. I will not be a happy camper if I have to start from scratch!


Reply author: Longdrop
Replied on: 02/27/2014 17:13:26
Message:

I have posted on this site before about my experience with Efudex as a full face treatment and as a targeted treatment. Thought I would add one more! I went to the GP with a red spot on my leg and he referred me to the plastic surgeon who confirmed the BCC and booked me in for surgery ($650). I suggested I try Efudex again and he supported this option but expressed doubt as he felt the BCC was too deep. I tried it anyway, twice a day for three weeks and the spot seemed to reduce. Anyway, six months later, I went in for the surgery and while on the table mentioned the Efudex treatment. The surgeon took a closer look at the blemish and confirmed it was clearing up with no sign of infiltrations and gave me my $650 back. This stuff is seriously good and I recommend anyone try it before surgery or any more invasive treatments - for BCC's at least. Just in passing I should mention I also had a BCC on the other leg some years previously which I ended up with a week of pain, a skin graft and a bill for several thousand dollars - that was the dermatologist who suggested I try Efudex!

And thanks too for this excellent resource, whoever you are who set it up!


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 03/18/2014 17:00:23
Message:

So glad I found this forum! Doctor prescribed Efudex for my hands and forearms, and suggested I do some research first before starting it. Guess she didn't want to tell me about the side effects and pain. I'll keep reading the posts here.


Reply author: rick789
Replied on: 03/23/2014 05:04:05
Message:

Has anybody used Effudex on their lip with success? If so what was the frequency of your application? I was told to use it twice weekly for 3 months, this was some time ago, but I didn't get the problem cleared up. I'm considering alternative options but not sure what yet. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 03/24/2014 10:40:17
Message:

After going thru my initial 2X daily for 2 weeks on my nose and cheeks, I finally had my dermatologist visit. He said all pre-cancerous spots were taken care of but he still had to freeze a place on my nose. In addition he froze 10 spots on my forehead. They are all almost healed now. (my appt. was March 6th) I was surprised he didn't have me do the Efudex on my forehead, but I would by far rather have them frozen off if possible. However, most of the area where I had the Efudex treatment now looks great! So overall, I'm pleased.


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 03/27/2014 16:42:35
Message:

Allergic Reaction !!! - What the heck? I did this 7 years ago; a 30 day twice a day stint that was very successful. Well get this. I start this time with just a little on the bridge of the nose, collar area and back of hands. I got the expected reaction and after 7 days was settling into the experience when the areas treated started to itch significantly. I went on for 14 days but decided to stop because it did not seem right. Well then on the night of day 17 while asleep an esophageal spasm starts to come on. I have had this only once before after exposure to some chemicals. I narrowly avoided it but then on the following 3 days my hands started to swell and itch like H, and I broke out in hives and lumps. By day 21 I was in the emergency room because my lips were starting to swell. I needed 100mg of IV prednisone. I was put on 60 mg per day. After 3 days I immediately started to taper off the meds and now at day 29 I am off. This was a stupid wild ride. How the heck do I do 30 days like text book and then 7 years later have this crazy reaction? Its as though somewhere in between I acquired that genetic condition in which you cannot use Efudex. Go figure. I am still not right as my body tries to find it's center. I feel a few more days and hopefully I'll be back to center. WOW!!!


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 03/28/2014 07:53:59
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by JackRussell

Allergic Reaction !!! - What the heck? I did this 7 years ago; a 30 day twice a day stint that was very successful. Well get this. I start this time with just a little on the bridge of the nose, collar area and back of hands. I got the expected reaction and after 7 days was settling into the experience when the areas treated started to itch significantly. I went on for 14 days but decided to stop because it did not seem right. Well then on the night of day 17 while asleep an esophageal spasm starts to come on. I have had this only once before after exposure to some chemicals. I narrowly avoided it but then on the following 3 days my hands started to swell and itch like H, and I broke out in hives and lumps. By day 21 I was in the emergency room because my lips were starting to swell. I needed 100mg of IV prednisone. I was put on 60 mg per day. After 3 days I immediately started to taper off the meds and now at day 29 I am off. This was a stupid wild ride. How the heck do I do 30 days like text book and then 7 years later have this crazy reaction? Its as though somewhere in between I acquired that genetic condition in which you cannot use Efudex. Go figure. I am still not right as my body tries to find it's center. I feel a few more days and hopefully I'll be back to center. WOW!!!


Reply author: Jans109
Replied on: 03/28/2014 07:57:01
Message:

The allergic reaction is really scary! I'm sorry you've had to go thru this and hope you're fully healed soon! I feel so fortunate in being finished with my treatment and just hope I don't have to look at another one in the future. This is forum is such a good outlet to us all!


Reply author: Colbres
Replied on: 04/01/2014 09:16:29
Message:

I have been using Effudex on my lips. I am finished with my treatment but am wondering how I can go out into the world while I heal. I would run if I saw myself; I look contagious and HORRIBLE. Any suggestions?


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 04/28/2014 08:59:04
Message:

I finished a round of Efudex on my forearms and hands, and now am 10 days in on my upper chest and neck. My arms and hands still have red spots healing. I posted a blog about this journey will photos, and included some other resources in it too. Hope it's helpful to your journey. http://skincancerjournal.blogspot.com/


Reply author: peterjm1003
Replied on: 04/30/2014 06:10:25
Message:

Just a quick post to see if anyone needs specific advice.

I noticed anivoc has already recommended picato as a much quicker alternative to efudix, with similar effects but over a much shorter time frame.

I would definitely endorse that thinking. It is generally much more expensive, but is based on an extract of petty spurge/Euphorbia peplus - see the posts on that thread.

Efudix (5-Fluorouracil) works by disrupting the cell replication cycle because it is an analogue of one of the base pairs in DNA. For rapidly dividing cells (ie cancers and pre-malignant cells like actinic keratoses), they are preferentially destroyed, but this then involves the body's immune system, causing localised inflammation - sometimes severe. Some people react very strongly and are in a whole world of pain. Efudix works but it can be nasty.

If you are using efudix, the following should be noted :

1. Avoid the sun - it is photosenstive and this reinforces the inflammatory response
2. Use a basic moisturiser if this does not irritate - this will not affect the action of the efudix.
3. Use twice a day initially until a reaction develops then cut back to once a day.
4. Use for 3 - 4 weeks for Actinic keratoses (field treatment), up to 8 weeks (spot treatment) for proven or suspected intraepidermal carcinomas
5. If the reaction gets too bad, stop or cut back to every second day. Consider repeat course after lesions have resolved


Thanks for reading


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 04/30/2014 06:52:15
Message:

Thank you for the info! I do have specific questions you may be able to help with.

If I have one or more active SCCs show up in the course of this treatment, how do I know there aren't more lurking in other areas of my skin? My first round on my forearms and hands uncovered over 70 spots total -- still healing, so don't know yet if the cream killed everything. On day 13 of round two -- this time upper chest and neck, and I'm covered in spots/rash. If spots show up every place I use Effudex, what does that say about all the areas I am not using it?

I'm reading conflicting statements about the risk of SCC metastasizing. Some research says only 5-10% do, other research says more. And does that mean from the total population of diagnosed, or per patient, or the number of lesions or identified SCCs?

Thanks for your input. Attached image.

Image Insert:

32.97 KB


Reply author: peterjm1003
Replied on: 04/30/2014 07:18:59
Message:

Hi,

the reactions I can see from the photos indicate superficial or pre-malignant change - in other words they don't look like invasive SCC. Even if invasive that doesn't meant metastatic. So my initial impression is - don't worry.

(Qualifier - see a local doctor or dermatologist to confirm - I live in Australia and not registered to practice in the US)

Reaction to efudix doesn't mean it is confirmed SCC, it just means atypical cell. Metastatic disease is quite rare, 5-10%??? I think someone pulled that number out of their butt. A lot of these lesions will never progress beyond superficial atypia or intra-epidermal (superficial - confined to the epidermis). Primarily be concerned about spots/lesions on the face or neck or rapidly changing lesions.

Just to emphasise - reaction to efudix is NOT a diagnosis of SCC. I would recommend re-treat in 12 months and note any changes.

Thanks for reading


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 04/30/2014 07:23:04
Message:

Thank you! Thank you!


Reply author: sunni
Replied on: 05/02/2014 01:20:10
Message:

Lately I've read on a few derm sites and skin cancer blogs about a new protocol for BCC, efudex applied weekly for 8-9 months. This is supposed to kill cancer without inflammation or burning. How can this work if inflammation means the efudex is working? Has anyone known this protocol to be successful?


Reply author: WolfpackGirl
Replied on: 05/07/2014 19:36:47
Message:

Hey everyone!

Thank you for your courage and taking the time to post all of your experiences with Efudex treatment.

I'm in my mid-30s and very fair-skinned, and I have had 9 instances of BCC and melanoma, requiring several surgeries (1 Mohs surgery). I have a lot of AK and a small BCC along my hairline and on my cheeks. My doctor suggested that we attack it all now with a 14-day course of Efudex.

When I was in the office recently for an excision, I asked if I should expect to miss any days of work, and the doctor kind of laughed at me. I don't think that this is a crazy question! I drive 50 miles to work each way and I'm concerned about trying to wear sunglasses in the blinding morning sun(my temples will be treated). I'm also worried that I won't be up to working if I'm in pain and I haven't slept very well. Infection is a slight concern given the open sores as well.

I like to think that I'm fairly tough (I've passed several kidney stones!), but I'm definitely concerned that this treatment will be worse than the doctor said. She basically made it sound like mosquito bites or a mild sunburn (as she handed me the brochures with scary pictures of Efudex treatment).

It was hard to try to schedule a block of time for treatment. I will start Efudex over Memorial Day weekend, as I have a big work deadline before that and a family reunion at the end of June that I have to travel to. I will try to post about my experience as I'm able to.

Again, thank you all for the time you've taken to share your thoughts and advice!


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 05/07/2014 19:45:32
Message:

I did take some time off from public work mainly because of the appearance, and because I was noticeably tired while using Efudex. Also, my skin was very photosensitive, and sunscreen stung too much to apply, so I stayed indoors as much as possible, and wore protective clothing, gloves, hat, and sunglasses when I did go outdoors. I've been keeping a 'blog' with photos of my progress. It's helpful because sometimes I don't think my skin is improving (or worsening) and the photos help me see progress. http://skincancerjournal.blogspot.com/

Good luck with your treatment -- keep us posted when you start over Memorial Day.


Reply author: April
Replied on: 01/25/2015 21:46:38
Message:

Is this efudex usually a one time treatment? or does it have to be repeated? Also it appears it effects all the skin area - such as the face and if there is a issue under the skin that it destroys it, to prevent from having mohs, etc. and it also destroys small BCC that may be on top of the skin?

Am going to the Dr next week and think I have one popping up and would like to ask if I could use this cream in that area and see if there is a reaction, because of where it is, if a biopsy is done it may leave a scar on the cheek area.


Reply author: joe866
Replied on: 04/15/2015 12:32:36
Message:

I just finished a 14 days treatment of Efudex, twice daily, and I can't tell you how happy I am now that the pain is subsiding. My face, neck is a bright red mass of spots. My doctor says healing should be rapid, and I'm hoping so. I was unable to work for the last week of my treatment because I could not concentrate on my work with the constant pain and itching. I hope this short sacrifice pays off, and I get some positive results from the efudex treatments.


Reply author: ch2013
Replied on: 04/15/2015 12:39:22
Message:

Thanks for updating us all. I'm now post-treatment almost a year. A few small spots are looking questionable, but my last checkup with the dermatologist was clean, and I don't have to go back for 12 months this time. Stick with it --- it's worth it!


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 06/01/2015 07:16:37
Message:

Hi - I thought I would offer a 1 year follow up to my post of March 27, 2014. In that post, I mention an unusual reaction to Effudex in which I had swelling, hives and esophageal spasms. Things for the most part straightened out after a few weeks of my post. Continuing though I had allergic reactions to environmental things such as pollen, etc that I never had. A year out now and I still have this over reaction but now minor. (No asthma or breathing issues, just skin.). It is just so strange how I did Efudex 8 years ago for a month and it went amazingly well with only the expected pain, etc. but no crazy side effect, and then now if I do it I totally mess up my immune system. I have never been able to find anything on this type of reaction and would love it if someone had some information. Thanks


Reply author: Cotchin9
Replied on: 06/06/2015 07:00:32
Message:

In the weeks leading up to my treatment, I had sleepless nights worrying about the pain and discomfort that was coming my way. A lot of internet posts had me concerned. I'm 45 with years of '70's, '80's and '90's sunscreenless damage on very fair, freckly skin. Well, I'm now on day 20 of a 21 day treatment and it's just not as bad as it's made out to be! The first 14 days were a breeze - I worked the whole time, and after explaining to people what I was up to, it was incredible the amount who said that they had done it themselves. The 3rd week is where it really kicked into gear.
I'm now beetroot red (I'm doing my entire face) with a forehead complete with flaky skin and scabs. My cheeks and nose are an even deeper ugly shade of purple. The creases where my nostrils meet my face are by far the most painful, but seriously, if a burn victim could click their fingers and trade places, they'd feel like they were sipping cocktails under a tropical gazebo! Yes, you won't look great but I'm yet to meet anyone so far who hasn't been full of encouragement. Yes, you'll be itchy. Big deal!
It's just not THAT bad! Trust me!!! You won't regret it...


Reply author: JackRussell
Replied on: 06/08/2015 04:27:14
Message:

I'm with you, its no big deal. I think the issue is that many people have had life too easy and then to do this is unbearable. My skin it sounds is much like yours but with much less sun exposure. I pushed thru 28 days. I had the purple skin, the scabs, cracking and bleeding, the works but it was no big deal. Sure there was discomfort but who cares; its only temporary. My only regret is that I did not do another week. Though my skin still came out great. It is the ultimate rejuvenation. Wish I did not develop this [now] allergic response that totally messes up my immune system because I would love to use it on my arms and a few other places. My face still looks good 8 years later. Of course I wear sun screen now.


Reply author: NYArtist
Replied on: 09/14/2015 06:12:34
Message:

Can someone please give me the recipe for home made eggplant/vinegar for skin cancer? Thanks. szukidavis@aol.com/


quote:
Originally posted by anivoc

The way they discovered efudex worked on skin cancer is when they were using it as a chemotherapy drug the people being treated for internal cancers ( who also by chance had known or unkown skin cancers) would light up everywhere there was a skin cancer.

What efudex does in 4 to 5 weeks bloodroot does in 24 hours. My derm was blown away by my bloodroot treatment pictures and agreed that it is exactly the same reaction as aldara or efudex but just much faster.

BTW Efudex can be purchased out of Canada or Mexico online for much less. I bought a tube in Tijuana when I was down there for $10. It can be ordered online at several online stores.

Curaderm, Sunspot both use the glycoalkaloids derived from eggplant and seem to get a similar reaction somewhere in between Efudex and Bloodroot.

I am currently experimenting with eggplant vinegar mixture with fingers crossed results so far. Several here (Mexico, Rocco and FForest) have had success using the kitchen sink approach using combos with success.


Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 04/10/2017 22:07:56
Message:

After reading the instructions at this website I think I goofed. I hope I don't end up having to repeat the 5 weeks of application:

http://frontrangedermatology.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/images_Efudex_Instructions_for_Actinic_Keratoses.pdf


Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 08/06/2017 13:20:59
Message:

Almost 20 years ago I has a forehead lesion removed by a plastic surgeon. Mohs was not mentioned but he left the site open until pathology results were in. This is the same site that something reappeared on recently. After trying many of the alternatives suggested in these forums I used Efudex to remove it however it ulcerated at one end. It did heal but left a lumpy scar and the lumpy end reopened. Again I applied Efudex and it ulcerated after a couple of days. Since Efudex is not recommended for application to ulcers I tried vinegar/O3 for about a week with little evidence of progress. It would scab and pucker around the perimeter and pus would drive the scab off after a couple of days. I have a bit of Curaderm from back when it was in a little plastic bottle and am applying it and covering with Micropore tape. The edges of the ulcer are keeping clean but there is still a bit of pus.

Since my Curaderm is well past any arbitrary expiry I am going to give Sunspot ES a try. Interestingly Lane Labs was involved in Curaderm way way back when I tried it on an AK unsuccessfully. I had read of it in a Dr. David Williams newsletter. Maybe Lane Labs was mfg it under license and bowed out when the FDA came down on it. Amazon seems to have the best price on Sunspot right now, $26.61.



Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 08/12/2017 22:23:32
Message:

I haven't procured any Sunspot yet as Curaderm seems to be helping. The ulcer is showing signs of granulation an indication of filling in. I will continue my regimen which is to dry the ulcer and apply Curaderm twice daily covering with Micropore tape. I use a small scrap of tape which goes on white but becomes translucent and almost invisible within 15 minutes or so. I'll report back if this regimen works as it might indicate Curaderm as a companion treatment with Efudex in the case of ulceration.


Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 08/29/2017 12:44:59
Message:

The ulcer appears to be healed, I hope and pay that it is. Though I was less than scientific it appears that Curaderm is a good followup if Efudex treatment results in an ulcer. Efudex instructions advise not to Apply Efudex to an ulcer as it might get into the bloodstream and cause side effects.


Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 08/30/2017 12:20:02
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by Eddie_T

Since my Curaderm is well past any arbitrary expiry I am going to give Sunspot ES a try. Interestingly Lane Labs was involved in Curaderm way way back when I tried it on an AK unsuccessfully. I had read of it in a Dr. David Williams newsletter. Maybe Lane Labs was mfg it under license and bowed out when the FDA came down on it.


Sorry for the misinformation the Lane Labs product was Skin Answer not CUraderm. Apparently Sunspot ES is the same or a similar product the feds gave Dr. Lane a hard time with Skin Answer.


Reply author: hives
Replied on: 09/04/2017 14:52:10
Message:

quote:
Originally posted by JackRussell

Allergic Reaction !!! - What the heck? I did this 7 years ago; a 30 day twice a day stint that was very successful. Well get this. I start this time with just a little on the bridge of the nose, collar area and back of hands. I got the expected reaction and after 7 days was settling into the experience when the areas treated started to itch significantly. I went on for 14 days but decided to stop because it did not seem right. Well then on the night of day 17 while asleep an esophageal spasm starts to come on. I have had this only once before after exposure to some chemicals. I narrowly avoided it but then on the following 3 days my hands started to swell and itch like H, and I broke out in hives and lumps. By day 21 I was in the emergency room because my lips were starting to swell. I needed 100mg of IV prednisone. I was put on 60 mg per day. After 3 days I immediately started to taper off the meds and now at day 29 I am off. This was a stupid wild ride. How the heck do I do 30 days like text book and then 7 years later have this crazy reaction? Its as though somewhere in between I acquired that genetic condition in which you cannot use Efudex. Go figure. I am still not right as my body tries to find it's center. I feel a few more days and hopefully I'll be back to center. WOW!!!


Reply author: hives
Replied on: 09/04/2017 15:19:34
Message:

Hives, fever, puritans and lethargy with efudex. I have used efudex very successfully according to my dermatologist with my treated skin scabbing off in the past. This time I applied efudex to my entire lower leg and upper arm. After 6 days of twice a day treatment I developed fever, lethargy and extreme itchiness all over my body. This is persisting days even after efudex has been stopped. My actinic keratosis on my non-treated leg and arm are swelling and reddening. I have read one report here by Jack Russell of an allergic reaction. Has anyone else had this?


Reply author: anivoc
Replied on: 09/04/2017 17:56:42
Message:

Efudex is not just local it is systemic...How it was discovered that it had an effect on AK's was it used to be used as Chemotherapy drug...people with other more serious cancers were going through Chemo and all of a sudden AK's are popping up inflamed all over the place and then shriveling up and flaking off...this is what made the Pharm companies develop a lower dose cream for topical application....but it does also get "in your system" depending how much you applied it definitely could cause ak's elsewhere to be affected...


Reply author: Eddie_T
Replied on: 03/26/2018 09:56:52
Message:

The skin cancer on my forehead returned. I had used Effudex until eruption then switched to Curaderm and Micropore until healed. It left a noticeable crater which I now attribute to cancel cells around the perimeter. The return was around the perimeter which seems to confirm this. I applied flourouracil for a couple of weeks then switched to Sunspot ES and Micropore until healed (about three weeks). The crater is less noticeable this time so hopefully I got it all. If it does reappear I'll just repeat the regimen.


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