Are you listening?
A month or so ago I had to have some skin biopsies taken; one of which was on my face. When the initial results came back I received the ‘all-clear’ except for the one on my face which was presenting like a potential morpheaform basal cell cancer. The plan was to wait 6-mo. and do a re-check.
Unfortunately the site of that biopsy quickly got more painful and a large lump was apparent so I made another appointment with my dermatologist, Dr. Preston Chadwick, in Salem, Oregon.
At this appointment, after investigating the changes, that same day, I had minor surgery on my face to remove the node — which was larger than an eraser, from the “apple” of my left cheek. When the doctor stitched me up he said he thought the ‘thing’ was “probably just a calcium deposit” aka Calcinosis Cutis and scheduled me 10-days later to have my stitches removed.
He thought this would be a simple thing except for the scarring on a prominent part on my face.
Not So Simple …
Yesterday the stitches came out; it was also the day the labs came back on the ‘thing’.
Unfortunately the ‘thing’ is not a simple calcium deposit and was in fact real bone that had spontaneously grown itself in the soft tissue of my cheek. The new bone was not a growth attached to any facial [or other] bones and apparently is a real disease, called Osteoma Cutis, and is extremely rare. So rare, that according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are approximately 50 known cases in the world.
Leave it to me to have something weird and rare, eh?
Sadly, the idea of having my face cut away one piece at a time, psychologically, is a real mind-fuck. This disease doesn’t just go away although it is not necessarily deadly. The probability that I will grow more of these is high, which means more surgeries on my face and more scars like the one I just got. The disease can be quite disfiguring according to the doctors and what research is available.
Although we have no idea why I have this, there is a chance this is related to my kidney and duodenal issues because Osteoma Cutis is somehow related to a malabsorption or improper processing of calcium and phosphorus in the body.
More tests, more observation and more stress. Just what I need.
Details Per National Institute of Health (NIH)
Osteoma cutis is a rare disease in which there is formation of bony tissue in the skin that causes deformities. The etiology remains unknown and its treatment is controversial.
The treatment of osteoma cutis is quite variable, and surgery is the most frequently reported treatment. However, a combination of clinical and surgical treatments seems to be an efficient way to manage these patients.
Osteoma cutis is a benign rare disease characterized by the presence of osseous nodules in the reticular layer of the skin (1). The nodules are composed of lamellar bone with osteocytes in the centre and osteoclasts in the external area (2). The etiology of this osseous deposit is still unknown (3).
The first case of osteoma cutis was described in 1858 by Wilckets (4). After that, approximately 50 cases of osteoma cutis were reported in the literature (4). In spite of the benign evolution, the disease may lead to significant cutaneous deformities at the affected areas, causing aesthetic deformities and psychological consequences in the patients.
Now … I just have to wait and see what happens and pray I still have a face when all is said and done.