Skin Cancer Home > Radiation Therapy for Skin Cancer

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. The rays come from a large machine aimed at the body, and they affect cells only in the treated area. This treatment is given at a hospital or clinic in either one dose or many doses over several weeks.
Although radiation is not a common skin cancer treatment, it may be used in areas where surgery could be difficult or leave a bad scar. This treatment may be used if you have a growth on your eyelid, ear, or nose, It may also be used if the cancer comes back after surgery.
Side effects of radiation therapy for skin cancer will depend on the dose of radiation and the part of your body that is being treated. During treatment, the skin in the affected area may become red, dry, and tender.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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