Superficial radiation therapy treats skin cancers located in the epidermis. Cancers tend to develop there because of sun exposure or ultraviolet light from tanning beds. At Heights Dermatology in Houston, Rosenberg, Lake Jackson, Portland, Corpus Christi, Palacios, Columbus, Gonzales, Dallas, Mansfield, Beaumont, Bay City, New Braunfels, and San Antonio, Texas, expert dermatologists perform superficial radiation therapy on their own or with other skin cancer treatments. To book a consultation, call Heights Dermatology or schedule online today.
What is superficial radiation therapy?
Superficial radiation therapy is a procedure that delivers X-ray energy into superficial layers of the skin to kill cancerous cells. When X-rays provide radiation to the skin, you can avoid exposing deeper layers of skin and tissue to radiation.
Because it’s a minimally invasive option for skin cancer treatment, superficial radiation therapy also reduces your risk of scarring.
Typically, Heights Dermatology uses this strategy to treat skin cancers that are large or are in areas that are difficult to treat safely with surgery. If you can’t have surgery for health reasons, this is an alternative option.
They may also use it in combination with surgery or other treatments depending on the cancer’s size and depth.
What does superficial radiation therapy treat?
Heights Dermatology uses superficial radiation therapy to treat two milder types of skin cancer. After evaluating your lesion and taking a biopsy to confirm that there are cancerous cells, your provider might recommend superficial radiation therapy for: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
Basal cell carcinoma occurs in the lower part of the epidermis. Basal cells move upward toward your skin’s surface, where they flatten into squamous cells. This type of skin cancer is closely associated with radiation from sun exposure. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma is skin cancer near the surface of the epidermis, affecting flattened cells. Like BCC, SCC often comes from too much sun exposure.
What should I expect during superficial radiation therapy?
When you attend appointments at Heights Dermatology for superficial radiation therapy, you can expect the treatment to take just a few minutes of your time. Depending on the location of your skin cancer, your dermatologist may request that you lie down on an exam table or sit in a chair.
The treatment itself is painless, but you may feel warmth from the radiation. This is normal, and you might see some redness or experience itching in the area for some time after the treatment. Depending on the size and depth of the cancer, Heights Dermatology may recommend attending more than one superficial radiation therapy session.
For more information on superficial radiation therapy, call Heights Dermatology at one of our convenient locations or book an appointment online today.