Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. Non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), refers to a group of cancers that develop in the upper layers of the skin. Melanoma skin cancer is less common, but can be more serious, as it can spread to other organs in the body.

Precancerous lesions such as solar keratosis are extremely common in areas of skin that have been exposed to large amounts of sunlight such as the head and neck. These can be treated by your own GP and do not usually require referral to the dermatology department.

Your GP will refer you to us if they suspect you have skin cancer. One of our specialists will examine the area of skin in question, and may also need to look at other areas of your skin.

Surgery is the main treatment for skin cancer. Some non-melanoma skin cancers may be suitable for alternative treatments, include freezing (cryotherapy), anti-cancer creams, radiotherapy and a form of light treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT). The treatment used will depend on the type, size and location of the skin cancer you have, and we will discuss options in detail with you.

 

Contact us

Northern Services

North Devon District Hospital 

Main switchboard on 01271 322577

 

Eastern Services

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) 

Main switchboard on 01392 411611

If you want to get in touch with the department, you can contact us on 01392 405510.

We also have GP-led community services for treating skin cancer:

Tiverton: Dr James Wood, Dr Helen Crighton and Dr Jon Williams - www.amicushealth.nhs.uk/clare-house-surgical-dermatology-service

Exeter: Dr Victoria Chamberlain, the Heavitree Practice - www.theheavitreepractice.co.uk/our-team

Exmouth: Dr William Willcock, Rolle surgery Exmouth - www.rollemedicalpartnership.co.uk/dermatology-services

Sidmouth: Dr Duncan Hall and Dr Andrew Rosewarne - www.sidvalleypractice.nhs.uk

Where will I be seen?

Northern Services

North Devon District Hospital 

North Devon District Hospital
Raleigh Park
Barnstaple
Devon
EX31 4JB

 

Eastern services

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) 

RD&E Heavitree, Gladstone Rd, Exeter EX1 2ED

Department of Dermatology

 

We run daily skin cancer clinics, which provide a diagnosis and treatment service for adult patients with suspected skin cancer. Treatment, including skin surgery, can often be provided on the same day as the clinic appointment, depending on time and space on the day. This may mean a longer wait in the department.

We also run skin cancer clinics for the follow-up of patients with skin cancer or at high-risk of developing skin cancer.

Meet the team

Clinical Lead

  • Dr Chris Bower

Dermatology Consultants

  • Dr Yusur Al-Nuami
  • Dr Rebecca Batchelor
  • Dr Chris Bower
  • Dr Carolyn Charman
  • Dr Naomi Goldstraw
  • Dr Tom Lucke
  • Dr Emily McGrath
  • Dr Yong Oon
  • Dr Rachel Wachsmuth
  • Dr Penelope Williams

Associate Specialists

  • Dr Peter Acheson
  • Dr Helen Frow
  • Dr William Willcock

Specialty Doctors

  • Dr Charlotte Carmichael
  • Dr Josephine Wheeler
  • Dr Helen Creighton
  • Dr James Wood
  • Dr Andrew Rosewarne

Specialist Trainees

  • Dr Alistair Brown
  • Dr Alice Walker

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Team

  • Claire Facey – Lead CNS
  • Jo Short
  • Kate Allington
  • Sarah Sandford
  • Kevin Mitchell

Nursing Staff and Health Care Assistants (HCA)

  • Clare Parkinson - Senior Surgical Nurse Practitioner
  • Claire McKenna - Surgical Nurse Practitioner
  • Kathryn Saddler – Clinical Nurse Manager
  • Hayley Thorn - Sister
  • Chaya Sriranganatha - Sister
  • Laura Warne – Sister
  • Heather Tomlinson – Sister
  • Hooi Inn Neoh-Solman - Surgical Nurse Practitioner
  • Victoria Roderick - Surgical Nurse Practitioner
  • Romina Abuzatoaiei - Staff Nurse
  • Wasuru Dyke - Staff Nurse
  • Patricia Garcia Arroyo - Staff Nurse
  • Kim Hill - Staff Nurse
  • Kyle Poblacion – Staff Nurse
  • Reynaldo Almazora - Senior HCA
  • Myrna Base - Senior HCA
  • Jayden Butler - Senior HCA
  • Mandy Spinks - Senior HCA
  • Jo Thompson - Senior HCA
  • Jolly George – Senior HCA
  • Bev Alford - HCA
  • Gillian Tancock – HCA
  • Judith Bond – HCA
  • Danielle Hubbard – Biologics Coordinator

Management and Admin team

  • Roland Gulvin, Cluster Support Manager
  • Shirley Rickard, Admin Service Manager
  • Katy Watson, Team Lead & Waiting List Coordinator
  • Karen Hill, Team Lead & Waiting List Coordinator
  • Anne Jones, Team Lead & Medical Secretary
  • Karen Baker, Team Lead & Medical Secretary
  • Joan Smith, Team Lead & Medical Secretary

Services and treatments

The  Macmillan website explains more about the different types of treatments offered.

You can also find out more about the different types of treatment by visiting the NHS website. 

This includes:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone treatment
  • Targeted therapy

Supporting you

Having cancer can have an impact on every aspect of your life and on those around you. We understand that this is a difficult and often frightening time for you and your loved ones, which is why we have put together a wide range of information to help you live with and beyond cancer.

Some of these services are available locally, whilst others cover Devon and/or the South West Peninsula as a whole. 

Find out more

Patient information leaflets

We produce a wide range of leaflets which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital. 

We also produce these in different formats including large print, please contact the department you are visiting for more information.

Find out more

Useful videos

We have a wide range of videos which provide information about our services and about the treatment you might receive in our clinics or during your stay in hospital. 

Find out more

Information for healthcare professionals

Routine and urgent referrals

Please refer via NHS e-Referral through the dermatology Referral Assessment Service.

Urgent advice

Please call the on-call dermatologist for urgent advice relating to patients with severe skin disease. On-call dermatology patient referrals include severe widespread drug reactions, suspected toxic epidermal necrolysis, widespread blistering skin conditions, severe or unstable eczema or psoriasis and erythroderma.

2-week wait skin cancer referrals

Only patients with suspected melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) should be referred via the two week wait. Patients with basal cell carcinomas should be managed as routine referrals, unless there is diagnostic doubt or rapidly growing lesions where delay may cause harm (eg close to important facial structures).

Please include digital photographs with referrals if possible to streamline triage (localising image, close up image, +/- dermoscopic image). The Consultant Connect® smartphone app can be used on personal devices to take images securely and transfer to clinical systems and e-RS referrals (see under teledermatology).

Skin surgery

Please ensure patients referred for skin surgery or to the see and treat skin cancer clinic have had an INR checked within 24 hours of their appointment. Patients requiring skin surgery will normally need to have an INR of 2.5 or under.

Teledermatology

The department provides a Consultant-led teledermatology Advice and Guidance (A&G) Service through the NHS e-Referral Service. A&G requests are usually responded to within 1-2 working days. The Consultant Connect app® can be used for patient photography.

Joint Formulary

The electronic edition of the Joint Formulary includes information on prescribing, referral guidelines, shared care guidelines and commissioning policies.

Guidelines for GPs

Guidelines on the management of a number of skin conditions can be found on the British Association of Dermatologists' website: British Association of Dermatologists guidelines.

Last updated: November 14, 2022.

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