Mr. R. James Colville Consultant Plastic Surgeon

BSc, MSc, FRCS, FRCS (Plast)

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Telephone: 07772 841078


Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas are the second commonest type of skin cancer.  It is usually associated with sunexposure (UV radiation) many years before it appears. It can spread to other parts of the body if it is aggressive or large and therefore should be treated in a timely manner. 


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 reonstruction moving skin nearby to fill the defect 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 -is a second choice if surgery is not possible. This may occur if the tumour is large or it has not been completely after surgery.  It involves 10 visits to the relevant hospital , usually the Royal Marsden Hospital. 

Once the SCC has been removed,  you will need follow up for 3-6 months to look for recurrence in the scar and signs of spread by feeling for lymph nodes. The length of time of surveillance will depend on the tumour subtype. You should protect yourself against the sun with longsleeved shirts, trousers and hats and 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.