What to Expect When You're Undergoing Image Guided Superficial Radiotherapy Treatment (IG-SRT) for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer


Understanding the events that will take place during the treatment of IG-SRT allows for a better sense of communication overall. Initially, a patient will present to the office with a growth on their skin that has recently raised some suspicion. At this time, a tissue sample would be taken to detect the presence of any skin cancer. If basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or keloids are found, the option for IG-SRT is presented to the patient.

If IG-SRT is decided by the patient as the choice of treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer, a simulation is then completed in the dermatology practice setting. The simulation is also used to establish goals and expectations for the care plan and course of treatment including:

  • Meet and greet with IG-SRT therapist
  • Evaluate the number of IG-SRT treatment sessions
  • Determine the appropriate radiation dose emitted to the cancer cells

During the treatment, the patient will take the chosen position and the physician will place a lead shield over the surrounding healthy skin, with a cut out of the shape and size that will expose the skin lesion. The applicator is then placed over the shield where the skin lesion is. This is when the treatment begins and the therapist steps out of the room while continuing to monitor the patient.

Yes, redness is common during the treatment and a sign that the skin has been penetrated and the cancer cells are being damaged. The total time for each area is approximately 15, pain-free minutes. A healing ointment is optional, but the irritation will clear up by the time the last session is complete and the cancer cells have been destroyed.

With efforts to make this process as simple as possible, all patients are encouraged to have all their questions answered before the administration of treatment. In this video, Dr. Ladd explains exactly what to expect during a typical IG-SRT treatment.