Sunday, 6 November 2016

Scleroderma Skin Cancer Complications. Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease


Scleroderma Skin Cancer and Other Skin Complications

Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease. 



#RaynaudsFreeWorld #SclerodermaFreeWorld  


 

The skin is the largest organ in the body. 

It is affected in most scleroderma patients. 
 


 


At the time of my diffuse scleroderma (dcSSc) diagnosis in 1997, I presented with extremely tight skin across my chest, arms, hands, face, legs … all over my body.  

My hands and fingers were puffy with tight, itchy, shiny skin and painful joints.  

I was unable to make a fist and could not remove bottle tops, the lids of jam jars, or the like, and had other symptoms (joint pain, gastro-intestinal, pain, lethargy, fatigue... Day 4  Scleroderma Awareness 2016). 
 


 



Surprisingly, my Raynaud's symptoms developed later. 
 



I was given a 15 month prognosis at the time of my initial diagnosis, due to the aggressive progression which the disease was having on my body. 

However, further to 7 years of chemotherapy and immunosuppressants, (I am now 14 years cytotoxic drug free), I still remain in a state of elation, having been told by Prof Chris Denton that ‘my skin is cured from scleroderma’, in November 2016.  

Global Scleroderma Trailblazer Prof Denton and I, Sept 2017.

I have a daily symptom management routine that includes bathing and moisturising my skin.   






For the bath, I use liquid petroleum (Oilatum Plus) and then, after towel drying, I use Hydromol emollient cream all over my body.  





Over the course of the last 5 years or so, I have experienced several skin complications which remain on-going. 
 

Most recently, I attended a follow up of my appointment for my 'Bowen's patch' saga, which reignited at the start of 2018.The Pandora’s Box of Scleroderma’. 
  

At that initial referral appointment in January, Dr Bassas, was most concerned to rule out a potential melanoma, advising me that this could kill me. 
 

I refused to undergo a skin biopsy due to the time of year, as winter is my nemesis season. 

 



 
I commenced daily application of Effudix cream, a chemotherapy, until a week before my follow up appointment, in March. 

The Effudix cream had caused my skin to inflame and break, bringing pain, and causing discomfort. However, these symptoms subsided after a few weeks.  

On the day of my follow up appointment in March, the skin still remained discoloured, but was now smooth. 
 
Dr Anthony Downs examined the discoloured skin area on my knee and told me ‘Your skin cancer has cleared’. 

I was stunned and overjoyed, and what’s more – no biopsy
 
I then showed Dr Downs other skin ‘spots’ for him to confirm that these were sun spots, as well as, Actinic Keratosis, on my forehead.  


Post biopsy Sept 2016

Dr Downs reminded me that the medications used to treat scleroderma, carry a potential increased risk of developing skin cancer combined with sun damage. 
 
During my recent follow up appointment, Dr Aamir Meman, was concerned that the 'Bowen's patch' skin area was now presenting as a basal cell carcinoma.  

As, the skin is now showing pinky brown patches. I have some new cream to try - Imiquimod, another chemotherapy cream.       

I know that I am a ‘lucky’ scleroderma patient. 

Lucky, in that, I have minimal internal organ damage. Lucky, in that, I continue to survive. 


Albeit, my full time job is looking after, and respecting my symptoms. 
 


 


During the course of my global patient profiles campaign for Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017 and 2018, every patient detailed how Raynaud’s and digital ulcers were a continual problem to them. INDEX        




Other unmet clinical needs, which patients have in common include:  
 


 

I am honored to be a patient research ambassador with the National Institute for Health Research. video.   



Medical Research provides immense hope for #SclerodermaFreeWorld. 
 
Overall, for optimum patient care, 3 hallmarks preside:  

medicaldream team
(expert specialist as the clinical lead).  
 
In the meantime, I continue to remind myself that 'My Job Today is to Simply Get Better', with hope, and my canine diva dream team, as my constant companions. 
 
 
 


October was Raynaud's Awareness Month and my 50 shades of blue 'party trick', time of year.   
Recently, I was appointed a Patient Public Voice on the NHS England CRG for Specialised Dermatology

I am delighted about this role, and very much hope to be a valued voice.  

This is in addition to my NHS England CRG Specialised Rheumatology role, and my roles with the European Medicines Agency   
 
 
Follow: 
 
Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, You Tube: @SclerodermaRF  @RaynaudsRf  
#SclerodermaFreeWorld           #RaynaudsFreeWorld  

Please DONATE to help fund medical research at The Scleroderma Unit, The Royal Free Hospital, London.     




100% of your monies will be used for medical research purposes only. Thank You. 
October 2018.  

 


Living the dream, scleroderma style. 





An edited version of this article was published here, in my Column with Scleroderma News. November 2018. 
  



  

Scleroderma Family Day 2020

25th Anniversary Meeting

The Atrium, Royal Free Hospital, London, NW3 2QG

Chair: Professor Chris Denton

PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME


09.30 – 10.00           Registration and Coffee

10.00 – 10.20           Welcome                                                   Dame Carol Black
                                                                Prof Chris Denton & David Abraham

10.20 – 10.40           What is a Biopsy?                                    Dr Kristina Clark

10.40 – 11.05           Dental aspects of Scleroderma            Prof Stephen Porter

11.05 – 11.25           Gastrointestinal problems –                       Dr Fiza Ahmed
shedding new light on old problems 

11.25 – 11.50           Pulmonary hypertension and the heart Dr Gerry Coghlan

11.50 – 12.15           Scleroderma cohort studies –                  Dr Francesco 
                                 ‘Learning from our patients’                     del Galdo

12.15 – 14.15           LUNCH BREAK – see below  

14.15 – 14.45           25 years of progress –                          Prof Chris Denton
from ‘black box’ to ‘positive trials’

14.45 – 15.15           International speaker –                            Dr Madelon Vonk
                                 Scleroderma Management in Netherlands

15.30                        Raffle


Lunchtime Discussions Groups / Demonstrations include:

Clinical Trials                                                                  Rachel Ochiel and team
National Institute of Health Research                            Christine Menzies
Drug Information / monitoring                                        Pharmacy
Massage                                                                         Keith Hunt MBE
Pulmonary Hypertension Education / nursing            Sally Reddecliffe/Adele Dawson
Rheumatology Laboratory                                          Research Laboratory Staff
Scleroderma Education / Nursing                          Louise Parker/ Joseph Cainap
Thermography                                                                Dr Kevin Howell
SRUK                                                                             Ollie Scott
Sjogren’s syndrome                                                       British Sjogren’s Society 


To Read My Articles:  

Gift in My Will, Click here 

Planning for the Future, Click here  

 


Rare Disease Day:   

Rare Disease Day 2020:  

  

Listen to my interview with John Smeeton, (Silver Fox), from the Royal Free Radio, here  


 

Raise awareness and donate to medical research, order your #SclerodermaFreeWorld #RaynaudsFreeWorld tshirt  here   


 
Rare Disease Day 2020: NIHR 'Research gives hope to Rare Disease patients', Click here  

  


 
Rare Disease Day 2019: Leaving a Legacy Gift, Click here       



Rare Disease Day 2019: 11am 97.4RockFM headlines, NO CURE, Click here  

Rare Disease Day 2018 – Research, Taking Part in Clinical Trials. Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here     

2017 Rare Disease Day Medical Research  


2016 Rare Disease Day Patient Voice   

2016 Rare Disease UK Parliamentary Reception       

  

Rare Disease Day is a fantastic opportunity for the entire rare disease community to shine a spotlight on their reality, combining as one unified voice. Where, at least one commonality presides –  
Medical Research
provides the brightest light,
for the illumination of 
the rare disease patients’ plight.


To read about medical research at the scleroderma unit, Click here   

Although rare disease patients are few in number, eg. 2.5 million scleroderma patients worldwide, (the World Scleroderma Foundation), the commonalities and golden hallmark for each rare disease patient are the same overall. 

INVESTMENT in MEDICAL RESEARCH is CRUCIAL.   


To read my articles:  

Celebrating 20 years of being a patient at the Scleroderma Unit, Click here

2019 New Challenges, Click here
 
NIHR Video: 'My Experience of Clinical Trials', Click here 

If we only had more RESEARCH investment for Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here   

The Importance of Medical Research and Awareness to the Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease patient, Click here  

2018 Scleroderma Awareness Raising and Medical Research, Click here    


SCLERODERMA:

Importance of an early diagnosis, Click here   
    
Taking Part in Clinical Research Trials, Click here     

The Importance of a Multi Disciplinary Medical ‘Dream Team’, Click here    

Expert Specialist Centres, Click here      
  
My Skin is Cured from Scleroderma, Click here   
    
UK Guidelines for Managing and Treating Scleroderma, Click here        

Fatigue, Click here         

Mobility, Click here      

Diet and nutrition, Click here      


Raynaud's- How to Diagnose, Click here        

'All you need to know', 2016 Awareness Video, Click here    

Global Patient Profiles 2018 Video, Click here    


Unmet Medical Needs, Click here     




Calcinosis Video, Click here    


The scleroderma tooth fairy, Click here     


Skin Cancer and scleroderma, Click here   

 

Sept 2017

Prof Chris Denton and I, Sept 2017

June 2019



This year, 2020, I am celebrating 22 years of being a patient at the Scleroderma Unit, The Royal Free Hospital - a world leading expert specialist, research centre.  

Read more, here.    

I am eternally grateful to the global scleroderma trail blazers Dame Prof Black and Prof Chris Denton, whose commitment and dedication to unlocking the scleroderma enigma, is nothing other than, superhuman. Along with the Raynaud's world trail blazer, Dr Kevin Howell.  

I am truly humbled and inspired by their work ethic and commitment to their patients.  

I am wholly appreciative for Prof Denton’s continued medical expertise and support, especially during my barrister qualifying years, 1997 - 2004. 
 
1st March 2004, I qualified as a self employed practising barrister. Further to having been told in 1997, by my original diagnosing doctor, that I was looking at a 15month prognosis. 
 


  

Chat Magazine May 2019

I very much hope to utilise my professional skills and qualifications along with my patient experience, to help achieve the #SclerodermaFreeWorld dream, hoping to improve understanding and best practice, in the meantime. Read more, here     

  

World Scleroderma Day 2018, Click here  

World Scleroderma Day 2017, 29th June, Click here    

World Scleroderma Day 2016, 29th June. Origins of the date, Click here   

World Scleroderma Day 2015, 29th June.  


James Carver, myself, Prof Chris Denton
I had the pleasure of being a presenter and part of the European co-hort who gave a presentation at the European Parliament, Brussels, in honour of World Scleroderma Day 2015.  

I am immensely grateful to James Carver, former MEP, for organizing this event in memory of his late wife Carmen, who sadly passed from Scleroderma.  

To view the presentation, Click here 

Raynaud's

October:  
Raynaud's, Click here  
 
To view the UK treatment guidelines for Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Click here   

To view the EULAR treatment guidelines, Click here    
To view Thermograph Video, Click here    

To view Thermograph image, Click here    

   
My Raynaud’s reality, Click here     


The global Raynaud's trailblazer - Dr Howell and I, Sept 2017

To view Nailfold Capillaroscopy equipment (used to identify possible blood vessel damage), Click here   

Invisible Disability Awareness Video, Click here

To read My ‘Invisible Disability’ experience, Click here   

50 Shades of Blue, Click here



 

For latest updates follow / subscribe:  

@SclerodermaRF 

@RaynaudsRf 

Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, YouTube, Facebook Page:

#SclerodermaFreeWorld           #RaynaudsFreeWorld    #Research  



Please DONATE to help fund medical research at The Scleroderma Unit,The Royal Free Hospital, London.  


100% of your monies will be used for medical research purposes only. NO wages or admin costs. Thank You. 

  

  
Last Update: Feb 2020.       


Scleroderma Skin Cancer and Other Skin Complications
Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease. 



#RaynaudsFreeWorld #SclerodermaFreeWorld  











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