Actor Hugh Jackman has had another cancerous growth removed from his nose, a result of his skin cancer diagnosis back in 2013.
The “X-Men” star underwent surgery back in November of 2013 for basil cell carcinoma, a slow-growing form of skin cancer, after his wife urged him to have a questionable mark on his nose examined. Now, a second surgery for the same condition a year later is a reminder to the public that skin cancer can happen to anyone–and now that summer is here, there is no time like the present to get focused about safe sun exposure.
Though Jackman indicated to fans via social media that there was nothing to worry about and the cancer was “all out now,” he placed and emphasis on regular skin examinations and the use of sunscreen whenever possible.
Why did Hugh Jackman’s skin cancer come back?
Though no reports have confirmed or denied the procedure Jackman had done to remove the cancerous growths on his nose, the Mayo Clinic indicates that Moh’s surgery is the typical treatment for basil cell carcinoma on the nose. This precise procedure generally has a 99 percent success rate over a 5-year period, making recurrence issues with skin cancer rare.
Basil cell carcinoma, however, is not only the most common form of skin cancer, but also the most likely to spread.
“Getting more than one basal cell carcinoma is common,” states the Mayo Clinic. “Patients with a previous diagnosis of skin cancer are 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with new skin cancer, compared to those who have never had skin cancer. However… basal cell carcinoma recurrence after Mohs surgery is uncommon.”
Possible reasons for a recurrence of basil cell carcinoma on the nose include:
- Missed cancer cells from the original tumor.
- An overlooked tumor: Basil cell carcinomas can vary significantly in appearance.
- Family predisposition to skin cancer: Individuals with a family member with basil cell carcinoma are more likely to experience recurrence.
- A suppressed immune system from organ transplants or an infectious process like HIV/AIDS.
“Mohs surgery, a very precise surgical technique, is the preferred treatment for basal cell carcinoma, especially when it occurs on the face. The tumor is excised layer by layer, with the surgeon taking time during the procedure to look at the excised cells under a microscope. Usually only one or two layers need to be removed for each Mohs procedure.For more complex tumors, many more stages of excision may be needed. The check-and-continue process allows the surgeon to remove all of the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Typically the surgery takes about four hours.”
It’s possible that Jackman underwent laser surgery, however, which may account for why there was an issue with the skin cancer returning. Laser surgery, though still effective, is not considered the ideal method for removing basil cell carcinoma from the nose.