Mr. R. James Colville Consultant Plastic Surgeon

BSc, MSc, FRCS, FRCS (Plast)

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Telephone: 07772 841078


Basal cell carcinoma












Basal cell carcinomas are slow growing skin cancers and the least agressive, however it is the commonest type. It is usually associated with sun exposure (UV radiation) many years before it appears. It doesn't spread to other parts of the body . 


Surgery -there are a number of ways to treat them. Surgery is very effective but will leave scars and if the tumour is large, may need reconstruction such as moving skin in from nearby or a skin graft usually taken from the thigh. The specimen is sent for histology (examined under the microscope) to confirm the diagnosis and ensure that it has been completely removed. This takes about 2 weeks. 

After surgery, you should not undertake strenous exercise for 1-2 weeks. You will have a wound check at one week, either with the nurses in the hospital or the nurse practitioner at your GP practice. Facial stitches will usually be removed then. I will see you at 2 weeks to discuss the results, review the wound and if surgery was to the the body, i may need to remove stitches then. 

Radiotherapy -may be a good alternative, especially if the area is difficult to reconstruct or if you are on blood thinners that are diffcult to stop. It involves 10 visits to the relevant hospital , usually the Royal Marsden Hospital. 

Effudix cream can also be effective against certain types of BCC. 

Other treatments, but these are used less frequently. 

Once the BCC has been removed,  you should consider yourself cured. However you are at a slightly higher risk of getting more BCC's. You should therefore protect yourself against the sun using longsleeved shirts , trousers and hats . Also use suncreams of SPF >30. 

Post operative care

If you are concerned post operatively- please telephone the hospital ward where you had surgery or contact  Jan Richards on 07722841078.

In an emergency please contact your local NHS hospital if you are unable to able contact those above. 


Please contact Jan Richards 07722841078, or use the 'Contact' link above.