Big C helps fund new skin cancer treatment at NNUH

A new skin cancer treatment is to be launched at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital thanks to a generous grant from local cancer charity Big C.

A grant of £30,690 from Big C is enabling the hospital to buy Mohs micrographic surgery equipment that will mean up to 150 local patients a year will no longer need to travel to Cambridge for the specialised surgical technique. The new service is expected to start in the autumn.

Mohs micrographic surgery is a technique used in the treatment of the skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma (rodent ulcer). It is used when the edge of the tumour is poorly defined or for tumours which have recurred following previous excision. It is the only technique available which ensures complete removal of the skin cancer.

In this technique, the surgeon first of all removes the tumour visible to the naked eye. A thin layer of skin is then removed and examined microscopically there and then to see if the tumour has been removed completely. If tumour remains, then the surgeon removes a further layer of skin which is then examined. The process is repeated until the whole tumour has been removed. Once the tumour has been completely removed, the wound can then be repaired.

Most basal cell carcinomas occur on the face and many are on the nose and ears or near the eye. This technique ensures complete removal of the tumour whilst preserving healthy skin and function.

Consultant dermatologist Dr Jennifer Garioch said; “It will be good for us to be able to offer this treatment locally. Many of our patients find it difficult to travel to the Mohs service at Cambridge. We are very grateful to the generosity of Big C in helping us buy the necessary equipment.”

Daniel Williams, Chief Executive at Big C said: “Big C is Norfolk & Waveney’s cancer charity. One of our core objectives is to improve services for local treatment and diagnosis. We are delighted to be able to work with NNUH in support of this vital work.”

Only a few centres in the UK offer Mohs surgery. The nearest to Norwich is the Mohs service at Cambridge. The setting up of the service at Norwich means that patients will no longer have to travel to Cambridge. It is envisaged that the service at NNUH will treat 150 cases per year.

Wednesday 18th of June 2008 10:00:14 AM