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Skin Cancer

Easy Read Information

This page gives you information about:

  • The tests we do for Skin Cancer
  • The different ways we treat it
  • The support that we have on offer

Who we are

The Dermatology clinic at Broadgreen Hospital is the local centre for skin cancer diagnosis and treatment in Liverpool

What we do

If you come for an appointment you can expect:

  • Quick diagnosis - It’s really important that skin cancer is diagnosed quickly. You’ll get an appointment within two weeks at our Rapid Lesion Clinic if your GP suspects squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or malignant melanoma (MM).
  • Best treatment - Specialists from different medical areas meet weekly. This is called a multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT) and is central to the way we work. The MDT advise, support and create treatment plans that are personalised for every patient. MDT members include dermatologists, specialist nurses, plastic surgeons, pathologists, clinical oncologist and ear nose and throat surgeon (ENT).
  • Patient information and counselling - We’re there to support you throughout your treatment journey. You’ll be given a key worker (usually a specialist nurse) and a contact telephone number for any questions you may have.
  • Reducing clinic visits - Improving the patient experience is one of our key aims. We’re trying to reduce repeat visits by performing surgery on the day if the cancer is operable and the circumstances are correct. We also offer follow-up clinics by telephone.
  • Complex surgery, locally - We now perform advanced skin cancer surgery at the Royal Liverpol University Hospital - this gives the patient the opportunity to have the procedure performed in this hospital rather than travelling to another.
  • Skin Cancer diagnosis - We have a large, experienced team of experts who can identify skin cancer quickly and efficiently.

Being referred to us

It’s really important that skin cancer is diagnosed early to stop it spreading. You will be referred to the hospital if your GP spots something that needs investigation. Our consultant skin specialists (dermatologists) will see you within two weeks at the rapid lesion clinic. This is based at Broadgreen Hospital.

What happens when you see us

Specialist examination

The dermatologist will examine your skin. It’s possible that the cancer can be spotted at this examination. Often the specialist will use a magnifying glass or hand held dermatoscope to look more closely at the lesion.


The doctor removes part or all of the lesion and sends it to the laboratory. It is analysed under a microscope by a pathologist. This is the only way to 100% identify skin cancer cells. It takes approximately one month for the results of urgent skin cancer biopsies at the hospital which means our patients get a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Further tests

Sometimes we need to do further tests to see if the cancer has spread. The doctor will probably feel the lymph glands close to the cancer to see if any of them are enlarged.

Your test results are discussed by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT). They decide the best treatment path if cancer is discovered. You will be consulted fully so that you play a role in whatever treatment you receive.

What happens next

Treatment types for skin cancer include:

  • Surgery: Most skin cancers are treated with surgery. It is usually a minor procedure and done under local anaesthetic. We have surgeons trained in advanced skin surgery for more complex operations.Very specialised surgery – like plastic surgery, maxillofacial surgery and oculo-plastic surgery – is given at other centres, including University Hospital Aintree and St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals.
  • Radiotherapy: This uses radio waves to kill cancer cells. It is often used when the cancer is difficult to operate on. It can also be used with surgery (adjuvant treatment). Patients are referred to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for this treatment.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT): PDT is mainly used to treat pre-skin cancer. It involves cream application and red light treatment to individual lesions. It can be done during the day; no overnight stay is required.

More information

Clinical Trials

All our patients are given the chance to get involved if suitable. We currently have two skin cancer trials open to recruitment:

  • Melanoma lifestyle study
  • A study to find out if diet and lifestyle can affect the chances of melanoma coming back after treatment.
  • Gemcitabine and bexarotene in the treatment of cutaneous T-Cell lymphoma
  • A trial looking at gemcitabine and bexarotene (GemBex) for people with difficult to control T-cell lymphoma of the skin.

You can find out more about the Clinical Research Unit by visiting the website here

The team

The MDT is a group of experts including:

  • dermatologists
  • specialist nurses
  • plastic surgeons
  • pathologists
  • clinical oncologist
  • ear nose and throat surgeon

How to contact us

Contact Details for the Cancer Team : 0151 706 2000

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