Abstract A retrospective survey of 135 patients with 146 malignant lesions of the auricle is presented. The results of treatment by surgery or radiotherapy are compared, and the high incidence of recurrence, especially following radiotherapy, is stressed. The incidence, aetiology, pathology and diagnosis of auricular tumours is discussed. The treatment of choice is surgery and the various methods of excision and reconstruction employed, according to the site, size, histological nature of the lesion and involvement of the regional lymph nodes, are outlined. A plea is made for a more rational and radical approach to these often casually treated tumours.