Woman says the way she views her own beauty has changed after she was left with a ‘hole in her nose’ when an old acne turned out to be cancerous. After the surgeries, she struggled to adjust to the way she looked, she said. The doctors told the woman that the cancer had been found early. Shortly after her diagnosis, the 40-year-old woman was scheduled for a surgery, where the cancerous tissue is cut out. But, the doctors underestimated the cancer and told her that she would need to have four stages of the Mohs surgery (an operation done under local anesthetic where the cancerous tissue is cut out) on her nose.
The 40-year-old marketing specialist from Utah, Melissa Fife, reportedly noticed that in 2020, the acne scar on her nose became larger and the skin nearby began to flake. So, the woman went to see a plastic surgeon and asked the doctor what are her options. Unfortunately, the plastic surgeon immediately recommended a dermatologist because he thought that Fife was suffering from a skin cancer, the Mirror reports.
In just 1 week, Fife had a biopsy and doctors told her that she was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma skin cancer. Luckily, the doctors told the woman that the cancer had been found early. Shortly after her diagnosis, Fife was scheduled for a surgery, where the cancerous tissue is cut out. But, the doctors underestimated the cancer and told her that she would need to have four stages of the Mohs surgery (an operation done under local anesthetic where the cancerous tissue is cut out) on her nose.
Several days after the initial surgery, the 40-year-old woman told The Sun that she found it too difficult to face looking at her wound, as she struggled to deal with the sudden change to her face. Fife also told the outlet that her last surgery was a reconstruction of her nose done by taking a skin graft from her collarbone.
Fife also said that one of her nostrils is partially collapsed and plans to find a way to reconstruct her nose. The brave woman from Utah is sharing her story because she reportedly wants to encourage people to have regular appointments with dermatologists and to protect themselves from the sun. Fife told the Mirror that after her surgeries, ‘the way she views her own beauty has changed.’ The woman also said that she struggled to adjust to the way she looked.
Melissa Fife reportedly told The Sun: “I had a small acne scar on my nose for a few years, but in early 2020, my scar started to get irritated. Skin would flake off and it would scab easily. The scar started to get larger and more deformed, I was embarrassed about how it looked. I thought it was purely cosmetic and that it was my fault that it kept getting bigger. I decided to see a plastic surgeon for a consultation to find out what my options were for scar revision.”
Fife said that the plastic surgeon only needed 20 seconds to tell her that he thought it was skin cancer. The plastic surgeon told her that she should go to a dermatologist to get a biopsy. Fife reportedly received the biopsy results a few days later and was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma skin cancer.
Melissa Fife reportedly told The Mirror: “I was then scheduled for a procedure called Mohs surgery. It entails cutting the cancerous skin out and examining it under a microscope to determine if all of the cancerous cells have been removed. I had to have four stages because my cancer extended further than originally thought. The entire procedure lasted seven hours, then the doctor scheduled me for another surgery with a plastic surgeon the following week.
Between surgeries, I had an open wound on my nose where the skin had been removed. The doctor told me to keep it covered with a bandage, and change it every couple of days. This was very emotional for me. I didn’t want to see the open wound. I felt that it would be too traumatic to see how graphic it looked – I cried several times thinking about it. The second surgery was in the operating room – the surgeon recommended a skin graft. They took a section of skin near my collarbone area and grafted it to my nose.
One of my nostrils is partially collapsed, and has been that way since surgery, so I’m hoping that there will be a way to reconstruct the nostril and smooth out the skin graft. I once had an opera director describe how beauty doesn’t necessarily mean ‘pretty. When I had the open wound, I wanted to hide, but I realized I was hiding from myself. My appearance had been very important to me, and I couldn’t bear to see my face that way. Since then, I’ve tried to make an effort to not hide. I post pictures of my nose on social media, because I want people to know they aren’t alone. I want people to see that healing takes time, and life doesn’t have to stop.”