GentleCure Blog

Radiotherapy vs. Mohs Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer and are researching treatment options for basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, you’ll want to compare radiotherapy vs. Mohs surgery. The major difference between the two is that Mohs surgery is more invasive and requires cutting, while radiotherapy is less invasive and requires no cutting. The team at GentleCure is here to help you to learn more about the differences between radiotherapy vs. Mohs surgery.

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery – also called Mohs micrographic surgery – is a procedure that is performed in stages. A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area being treated, then the surgery begins. 

Using a scalpel, the skin cancer area and a bit of the surrounding skin are removed in layers. After the first layer is removed, the surgeon observes it under a microscope to look for any remaining cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, another thin layer of skin will be removed and viewed under the microscope once more. This process continues until no more cancer cells are detected. 

What is Radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is a less-invasive alternative to Mohs surgery. It involves the use of X-ray energy to kill skin cancer cells. Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy (Image-Guided SRT) is a leading-edge radiotherapy technology that uses a machine to deliver a measured dose of low-level X-ray energy just below the skin’s surface, directly targeting and destroying the cancer cells with no cutting required. The energies of the machine used for Image-Guided SRT treatment are less than that of a chest X-Ray. 

A Closer Look at Radiotherapy vs. Mohs Surgery

In addition to understanding the difference between how radiotherapy and Mohs surgery are performed, people with skin cancer should know how each treatment option may affect their daily life. Because Mohs surgery requires cutting away layers of skin, it does result in a wound that eventually leaves a scar. In more severe cases, plastic surgery or skin grafting may be necessary to help the wound heal properly. Mohs surgery also may require a halt in the usage of certain medications before surgery, and they may need to take antibiotics post-surgery.

Use the table below for a clearer picture of how radiotherapy vs. Mohs surgery can impact your life:

Mohs SurgeryImage-Guided SRT Treatment
May experience pain during and/or after surgeryMay experience mild irritation during treatment
Typically leaves a scarMay result in hypopigmentation, which typically fades over time
May require plastic surgery or skin graftingAbsolutely no cutting required
May require antibiotics post-surgeryNo antibiotics required
May require stoppage of certain medicationsRequires no stoppage of medications

Following Mohs surgery, it is generally best to limit movement for a few days to allow the wound to heal properly. After Image-Guided SRT treatment, you are free to go about your life as normal.

Call GentleCure to Learn More About Image-Guided SRT

Is Image-Guided SRT right for you? If you would like to learn more about this surgery-free treatment for skin cancer, call GentleCure at 855-936-4411 to speak with a skin cancer information specialist. We can provide more information on how Image-Guided SRT works and what to expect during treatment. You can also find out how other people with skin cancer have seen success with Image-Guided SRT by visiting our patient stories page.

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For more information on skin cancer treatment options, speak with a Skin Cancer Information Specialist today.

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