Squamous Cell Carcinoma Timeline


I have recently been diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma. It had been described as a Basal cell from initially seeing my GP and the Dermatologist so things progressed pretty slowly until after the biopsy. I got an appointment to see the plastic surgeon within a couple of days of the results. Due to its awkward position on my face he recommended using the Mohs surgery method and would do an urgent referal to see that surgeon. 2 weeks have passed now and I haven't anything. What kind of timeline should I be looking at after diagnosis until surgery? 

  • Hi and a very warm welcome to the online community

    I'm sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) after it was originally thought to be a basal cell carcinoma (BCC). 

    I did not have this type of skin cancer so I've looked up the waiting times for cancer treatment. If you take a look at this information from Cancer Research it says that "The current targets are:

    • no more than 2 months (62 days) wait between the date the hospital receives an urgent referral for suspected cancer and the start of treatment
    • no more than 31 days wait between the meeting at which you and your doctor agree the treatment plan and the start of treatment

    Waiting times can vary depending on the type of cancer and the type of treatment you are going to have."

    As 2 weeks have already passed and you have not received an appointment date, it would probably be a good idea to contact your skin cancer nurse specialist (SCNS). If you have not been assigned a SCNS then phone the plastic surgeon's secretary and ask her to find out which surgeon you've been referred to for Mohs surgery. You can then contact that surgeon's secretary to chase up your appointment or, hopefully, the first secretary will do this for you.

    When you have a minute it would be really useful if could pop something about your journey so far into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

    Let us know how you get on


  • Thanks for the reply. I found the number for the secretary of the clinic I was referred to and gave then a call. They had the referal but clinics were busy then today I got an appointment for the new year to have it triaged. What a relief.

    As for my journey so far:

    December 2018. Noticed that a mole next to my nose and changed shape/ colour and was bleeding a bit. Went to my GP and he reassured me it wasn't an issue, I had just caught it and made it bleed.

    May 2019.Went back to my GP on a totally unrelated matter (snoring). He noticed the mole and gave me the good news? He thought it was a basal cell carcinoma. "If you are going to get cancer then this is the one you want to get" Received my appointment shortly after to see a Dermatologist at the beginning of September. 

    September 2019. Saw the Dermatologist who had a look and confirmed it appeared to be a basal cell carcinoma. Would arrange for a biopsy to confirm. 

    October 2019. Went for the biopsy. All credit to the nurses who do this they were wonderful. 

    November 12th. Received the results in the post. It was a squamous cell carcinoma which is a different beast and if left could spread into surrounding tissue then other parts of the body. Urgently referred to surgery

    November 27th. Appointment with the plastic surgeon. Discussed the options for removal which were all difficult due to its position, spoke to his consultant and decided that it would be best to use mohs surgery and would urgently refer me to this clinic. Also noted enlarged glands in my neck so another urgent referal for an ultrasound/biopsy. 

    10th December. Ultrasound appointment. First bit of good news, there were no sighs of it having spread so no need for another biopsy. Just have an infection. 

  • I'm glad to hear that you now have a date for the start of your treatment

    You could copy and paste your timeline from above into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'.

    Do let us know how you get on in the New Year