Alternative Commentary Collective's Mike Lane on resilience through rare cancer diagnosis: "I’ll never forget the scraping sound"

Publish Date
Thursday, 9 May 2024, 8:32AM

Dealing with any type of illness is tough, but when it's something that affects your face, there’s just no hiding it.

WARNING: Some people might be disturbed by the graphic photos. 

Mike Lane, GM of The Alternative Commentary Collective and founder of the beige brigade shared his journey of resilience with a rare form of cancer in the latest episode of We Need To Talk with Toni Street.

Mike's journey began with what seemed like a harmless lump on his forehead - initially dismissed as a cyst. However, as the lump continued to grow, he had it checked out.

Little did he know that this seemingly harmless lump would lead to a life-altering diagnosis of Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), an extremely rare form of cancer.

Googling the diagnosis, Mike discovered that DSFP is usually found in African Americans and on the torso, “I was looking in the mirror and I'm like, middle-aged white guy, from the North Shore and it's in the middle of my forehead."

DFSP forms within deep layers of skin and burrows deeper, spreading tentacle-like through the flesh. When Mike's was caught it was very close to his eye socket, in the bone of his skull.

He had many surgeries done to remove it all, including tissue expanders and Mohs surgery – the latter of which was done under local anaesthetic with doctors scraping his skull for cancer cells. "I’ll never forget the scraping sound as they scrape your skin," Lane recalled.

Mike Lane with tissue expanders in. 

Despite the physical and mental toll the surgeries took on Mike, he kept a positive attitude throughout and continued to work. "I think if I stayed home for 13 weeks, I'd go more crazy at home and probably get a bit depressed and then start to self-doubt. So I was like, you know what, it is what it is 13 weeks of my life."

Though the chance of the cancer returning is low, he now has a PET scan every five years to be safe.

Hear Mike’s full story in this episode of 'We Need To Talk' with Toni Street.



Photo One: During surgery. Photo Two: Post skin graft.

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