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Basel cell skin cancer

Lualuna
Posted by

Hi there, have to wait for 6 months. Is this legal? Best wishes lua

Karla S- Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Lualuna,

I’m sorry you’ve been diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer and are worried about waiting 6 months to see a specialist at hospital. Referral to hospital can be done urgently (being seen within 2 weeks) or as non-urgent (can take weeks or months to be seen). Generally basal cell skin cancers develop slowly and waiting a few weeks or months won’t do any harm.

We’d encourage you to get in touch with your GP and talk through your concerns about the wait. They’ll hopefully be able to reassure you as to why they feel it’s safe. Don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you need anything. Best wishes, Karla (Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse).

Lualuna
Posted by

Hi Karla,

Thank you for you concern and your reply. ...it won't do any harm but,as the surgeon said, it may grow, and therefore need more extensive surgery. Like everyone here I am worried about scarring. Friends keep telling me that there is a maximum 18 week wait, is there any truth to this? Could I have a case for trying to get seen by another hospital with a smaller waiting list.? your sincerely Lua

Josie - Macmillan
Posted by

Lualuna

Hi Karla,

Thank you for you concern and your reply. ...it won't do any harm but,as the surgeon said, it may grow, and therefore need more extensive surgery. Like everyone here I am worried about scarring. Friends keep telling me that there is a maximum 18 week wait, is there any truth to this? Could I have a case for trying to get seen by another hospital with a smaller waiting list.? your sincerely Lua

Dear Lualuna,

 

Thank you for getting back to us. I can understand you are worried about this.

 

Generally basal cell carcinoma grow slowly and waiting a few weeks won’t do any harm. In most cases these are done as a non urgent referral.

 

You could speak to your GP about your concerns and maybe speak about another hospital or is a private referral an option for you. I hope you can get something sorted.

 

 

Best wishes

Josie Buchan

Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

Lualuna
Posted by

Hi dear Josie, it's not a few weeks it's six months! My G.P. Doesn't know either, about the 18 week maximum wait, do you know if it's true?

KateG - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Lualuna

Thank you for getting back in touch, you can find the 18 weeks guidance on the NHS choices website here  under the heading diagnosis.

I hope this helps when you speak to your GP again, it may also be worthwhile letting the hospital know that you can take a cancellation if one becomes available.

If after speaking to your GP you remain concerned and would like to take this further, you can contact the hospital PALS team. They will also be able to guide you if you wanted to make a more formal complaint.

Take care

Kate (Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist.)

Lualuna
Posted by

Thank you for this valuable piece of information, so I am right from the time of  the biopsy is the start of the 18 week wait for surgery...it should be no longer than this!! Can I ask another question: is there a difference in the cosmetic outcome of closing the wound using a MOHs surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon? 

Regards Lua

bbeckb
Posted by

Hi Lua

I was diagnosed with a BCC on the side of my nose at the end of May and eventually had mohs surgery to remove it jyst less than 2 weeks ago so 6 months wait does sound about right for NHS.

On the surface, my BCC did not appear to grow much during this time.

I had mohs surgery 13 days ago and whilst It was a very long day as I had to go back into surgery twice the hospital were able to confirm by the end of the day they removed all of the cancer. 18 stiches and a skin flap later (simply made further incision and moved and stretched surrounding skin to cover the wound) I was all done. Dressing came off after 2 days and I did look like I'd been hit by a truck. Beautiful black eyes and puffy face BUT this passed VERY quickly. Stiches were out 6 days ago and all I can say is wow- can't believe that my speedily recovering nose is the same one. Scar us still red bit is improving every day. Friends and family are gobsmacked that it is healing so quickly. I am now really not concerned about how it will look going forward.  Confident within 3-6 months it will be barely noticeable.  AND if it doesn't look as good as I hoped, nhs have already sent through an appointment for me with their plastics team for June.  I'll be surprised if they need to do anything though  (unless of course they would like to do a bit complimentary wrinkle removal lol)

Otherwise than the 6 months wait - nhs and staff who dealt with me were amazing.

Hope this gives you a bit of an insight and a little reassurance.

Best of luck

Becky

Lualuna
Posted by

Hi Becky,

Thank you, so kind...yes it does..I wonder can I ask who did your surgery and at what hospital?  

I have been sent to a Dr Conal Perrett, at UCLH, London. He has not given me the option of a plastic surgeon for closing the wound, perhaps it's normal. 

Unfortunately the day I saw him I was suffering with back pain and didn't get much of a chance to ask him questions.

bbeckb
Posted by

Hi lua

My doctor is Dr Jennifer  Garioch and I saw her at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.  She splits her time between here and the private Spire hospital in norwich.

She specialises in MOHs surgery.  She completed my surgery and the second MOHs surgeon in Norwich Dr Mark Moncrieff who is a plastic surgeon, joined us for the repair. They discussed together the best repair option which in my case was skin flap. It was Dr Garioch who completed the surgery though.  

They gave me complete confidence in what they were doing and made me feel totally at ease.

The two ladies having surgery on the same day as me did not require the additional opinions or services from the plastic surgeon. Perhaps theirs was a little more straight forward as in, there was a clear and obvious repair to be done. I like to me more difficult lol

I always think of a list of questions and queries I'd wished I'd asked once I got home.

Hopefully though, these forums will help alleviate some of your concerns. 

Becky x

Lualuna
Posted by

Hi Becky,

Thanks for that information  it's sounds like you had a good team. Somehow, I don't feel that in London. It's almost impossible to speak to any member of the dermatology team. Maybe it's the time of year, or the big numbers of people who live here, creating higher demand for less resources. I don't know. I have seen the surgeon, for all od 5 minutes and asked him about plastics and if they were ness, but he didn't say anything. He looked upset that I has asked. I know that he is very well respected and has a private practise. i suppose it would be good if we could get reviews on each surgeon but it seems like pot luck.

Maybe I have been lucky.

Lua

Michael - Macmillan

Hi  (Lua)

Just to add - there is more support available on the community for you - we have a skin cancer group where you can talk to others who are having similar experiences -  is a member of the group too. 

I hope this helps,
Kind regards,
M.

Linda - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Lua,

The 18 week referral for treatment would have started when your initial referral was made. This speed of being seen will depend on the waiting list in the hospital you are attending. As Kate has suggested it may be a good idea to speak with the PALS team in the hospital as they may be able to give more specific information about anticipated treatment times.

A Moh’s surgeon is a consultant dermatologist who has undergone specialist training to carry out this procedure. They would be expected to carry out this type of surgery regularly in order to maintain their practice and skill. The cosmetic outcome would depend on the skill of the surgeon carrying out the procedure. You may want to ask if they can show you evidence of their work to reassure you.

Waiting for treatment can be stressful and can affect day to day living. If you haven’t already then it may be an idea to speak with your GP about the impact it is having on you. As well as our skin cancer group there may also be additional support available from these support groups.  

Best wishes

Linda, Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous

Its 35 weeks wait in Wales now.  Does seem much too long. Intend to write some letters of complaint, to department, hospital management and MP. Its all very well being reassured that its OK to wait with BCC but what if its not? No expert has seen it yet.

KateG - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi

Thank you for your post. It’s understandable that you’re concerned with the delay in seeing a specialist. Your doctor will have information about the type of skin cancer and potentially the stage/grade if they’ve biopsied or removed the area. This will allow them to say whether it’s safe to wait 35 weeks. If you were diagnosed by your GP it would be worthwhile going back to speak to them and let them know your concerns about your waiting time.

 

Some hospitals in Wales offer a PALS service like this hospital, you could check their website and see if they offer this service. There is information on NHS Wales about putting things right and raising your concerns here.

 

In the meantime, if you have any concerns or there are any changes to the area see your GP.

Best wishes

Kate, Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist