For over ten years, Robert Crouch had an unusual skin irritation on his left ear.
“It would bleed all the time and it was hard to cover up,” Crouch shared. “I would always have to put creams on it and I was afraid for people to see it. It would flair up and I thought it was some kind of skin irritation, so I’d clean it up, put on cortisone cream and it would go away for a while.”
The skin irritation looked like a cluster of small popped blood vessels and would always return, traveling to other parts of his ear.
“I finally pulled the string, although I waited too long,” Crouch explained. It was Robert’s wife who urged him to be seen by a dermatologist.
“My wife was actually diagnosed with basil cell carcinoma on her forehead and had it removed by a dermatologist in Belton. When she had it removed, she told me I ought to get my ear checked out and I agreed.”
Crouch was soon diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer. Due to the complexity of the cancer, his dermatologist referred him to Wellstone physician, Dr. Jacob Minor, MD, FACS.
“They didn’t have the expertise to be able to remove it, so they referred me to Dr. Minor,” Crouch explained.
Pleased with the online reviews he read under Dr. Minor, Crouch decided to redirect his care to Wellstone Health Partners. “Dr. Minor’s reviews were outstanding so I told my wife I would take the advice of the dermatologist and go meet with him.” When Crouch finally met with Dr. Minor, he soon learned the severity of his cancer.
“He told me if the cancer continued to grow, it would travel into my ear canal then into my ear drum, and cause even more problems,” Crouch shared. “He mentioned it was one of the worst he had ever seen. That got my attention.”
Crouch was scheduled for surgery on March 1, 2019. Dr. Minor would lead the surgery at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.
“Dr. Minor prepped me that I would have to have a good portion of my ear removed,” Crouch said. “I was very scared. I hadn’t had surgery since I was a young kid and I’m 56 years old now. Dr. Minor really prepared me.”
After a five hour surgery, Crouch walked out of Seton Harker Heights a cancer-free man.
“He got it all and I couldn’t be happier,” Crouch said. “Dr. Minor really cared about what he was doing and I could tell throughout this entire process. He was confident he would get it all and did everything he said he was going to do. He made the entire experience pleasant.”
Crouch was deeply appreciative of how well Dr. Minor constructed his ear back together.
“I know he is not a plastic surgeon, but he did a wonderful job making my ear look like an ear. If you just meet me off the street you would never know a portion of my ear was taken out.”
Crouch was pleased with the patient-centered care he received throughout his experience with Wellstone Health Partners and Seton Harker Heights.
“All of the staff that I interacted with were professional and pleasant. I’m so glad I was recommended,” Crouch shared.
Crouch is thrilled with his results and is even sleeping better after the removal of the cancer. “I can now sleep on my ear. I haven’t been able to do that in years because it would always bleed.”
Crouch encourages those with skin concerns to find the courage to schedule an appointment with a provider. “It’s important,” Crouch explained.
“I think people should take skin cancer seriously and talk to their dermatologist, talk with people like Dr. Minor, to assess skin concerns come up with a game plan to deal with it.”
“I’m so happy with the outcome and want to thank Dr. Minor and his staff, as well as the people at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights,” Crouch explained. “They did a good job.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Minor, please call (254) 618-1080. To learn more about Wellstone Health Partners, click here.