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Shorter courses of radiation effective for treatment of slow-growing skin cancers

Wednesday, May 30, 2018  
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Shorter courses of radiation effective for treatment of slow-growing skin cancers

By News Medical Life Sciences

 

A recent Penn State College of Medicine physician's study review suggests that shorter courses of radiation are preferable to longer ones for older patients receiving treatment for slow-growing skin cancers.

Skin basal and squamous cell cancers are common among patients over 60 years old and are rarely fatal. These cancers-;which look like moles, freckles or skin tags-;can be removed surgically but in some cases radiation therapy is preferred. Doctors often recommend radiation when these cancers appear in areas such as near the eyes, ears, nose or lips, or in patients on blood thinners or with other health problems that rule out surgery.

Radiation therapy for these skin cancers is delivered in a series of treatments over anywhere from one to six weeks. Shorter-course therapy requires larger doses per treatment, which are expected to cause more damage to the skin that appears years later. Yet, no large study has actually compared the results of different-length courses of radiation therapy for these cancers. LEARN MORE


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