Radiotherapy can be used for a wide variety of skin cancers as either a primary treatment or often as an adjunctive treatment to surgery in order to maximise cure rate. Radiotherapy works by directing radiation at a target area, subsequently destroying cancer cells. The treatment is aimed at killing cancer cells but normal cells will also be affected, often resulting in significant inflammation at the treatment site.
The effectiveness of Radiation will vary depending on factors including the skin cancer type, site, extent and radiation used. Not all tumours respond to radiotherapy, and cancers such as melanoma are not regarded as very sensitive to this management. In certain anatomical sites, such as the lower leg, radiotherapy is best avoided. Radiation can be a valuable option to patients that are not able to undergo surgery.
Radiotherapy is not conducted at the SCDS, but our Doctors will organise a referral when appropriate.