GentleCure Blog

Side Effects of Superficial Radiation Therapy

IG-SRT Machine

Superficial radiation therapy is a non-surgical outpatient procedure designed to treat basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers without cutting into the skin. This painless, surgery-free treatment is just as effective as the traditional Mohs surgery but comes with much better cosmetic results. There are minimal to no Image-Guided SRT treatment side effects, making it an exceptional option for those who qualify. Below, we’ll cover how superficial radiation therapy works and some of the common Image-Guided SRT treatment side effects in comparison to other treatment methods like surgery.

How Does Superficial Radiation Therapy Work? 

Superficial radiation therapy works by targeting small amounts of energy just below the skin’s surface, focusing only on the affected tissue. Unlike Mohs surgery, which cuts deep into the skin to remove cancerous tissue and the surrounding areas, superficial radiation therapy works without:  

  • Cutting
  • Surgical scarring
  • The need to stop taking blood thinners or antibiotics 
  • Limits to daily activities

Most people with skin cancer who choose superficial radiation therapy schedule a series of short, pain-free appointments over a series of weeks. Superficial radiation therapy does take longer than surgery, but there are no limits to daily activities, and you won’t need to follow up with cosmetic surgeons to address scarring. Once the treatment schedule is completed, you’ll continue regular screenings to ensure you’re cancer-free. 

What Kind of Side Effects Are There with Image-Guided SRT? 

As with every treatment for people with cancer, there are going to be side effects that vary from person to person. The good news is that the Image-Guided SRT treatment side effects are outweighed by the benefits. For most people, the following are the most common  Image-Guided SRT side effects: 

  • Moderate irritation
  • Redness
  • Thinning
  • Skin breakdown
  • Skin darkening/lightening
  • Hair Loss
  • Rare occurrence of skin ulcers

The most positive side effect of superficial radiation therapy is its superior cosmetic results. Because many skin cancers develop on highly visible areas of the body, such as the face, head, and neck, many patients are concerned about how they’ll look after skin cancer surgery. Mohs surgery leaves deep scarring which can be painful and affect appearance, but superficial radiation therapy isn’t painful and doesn’t leave behind scars. 

Most of the Image-Guided SRT side effects can be lessened as well, using some simple care methods.

  • Bathe the area in warm (not hot) water daily, using a low-pH cleanser
  • Avoid scented makeup or skin care products on the area
  • Moisturize the area daily
  • Avoid shaving the treated area
  • Avoid antiperspirants and talcum powder on the treated area
  • Don’t use adhesive tapes or bandages on the skin
  • Wear skin-protecting clothing on the treated area while outdoors
  • Use appropriate sunscreen

Avoid the Side Effects of Skin Cancer Surgery with GentleCure™

Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy (Image-Guided SRT) is the new gold standard for skin cancer treatment without surgery. This safe, effective technology eliminates the painful side effects of traditional skin cancer treatments while still achieving superior results. To learn whether Image-Guided SRT is right for you, contact us online or call 855-936-4411 to speak with one of our skin cancer specialists or explore our FAQ 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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