Interview transcription:

We interviewed Penelope Pratsou to learn about the appearance of skin cancer and to find out what you should do if you have Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

What should you do if you have Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Penelope Pratsou: Discussing a basal cell carcinoma first, you might be talking about a spot that has appeared and is just not going. It seems to be healing, and then it bleeds and then it scabs. It’s painless, but it’s just not really shifting, and perhaps it has grown a little bit, over the course of a few months, or even years. That is more likely to be on your face or really any sun-exposed area.

The first step to feeling in charge of your skin is to book an initial consultation


Penelope Pratsou: If you’re looking out for a squamous cell carcinoma, what you want to be looking out for is a more rapidly growing spot or nodule, that could be skin coloured or red in appearance. It could be ulcerated and bleeding, or it could be scabbed in the centre and, more likely than not, this could be painful as well. Again, you’d be looking at these same areas on your body – the scalp, the ears, the nose, sometimes the lips and the backs of the hands.

If you had any of those suspicions, if you have something that’s really not healing, it’s important that you do see someone about it. I’m a skin specialist, I have a special interest in skin cancer and the treatment of skin cancer, so I would be more than happy to see you for an assessment, and to offer you some treatment.

If you notice that you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou. She’ll be able to assess your condition and give you a personalised treatment plan.

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About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.