Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT)

What is SRT?

Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) is a treatment option that may be considered for low-risk basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma in patients who prefer to avoid surgery. This technique uses highly advanced technology to radiate cancer cells, destroying them or preventing them from growing. SRT is delivered in small doses, usually three days weekly for seven weeks, with the option of taking breaks if needed during the treatment course. SRT is usually performed in the dermatologist’s office by a specialized radiation technician.


How Does SRT Compare to Mohs surgery?

Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique to remove skin cancer, examining all margins under the microscope to ensure the skin cancer is completely removed. Mohs surgery is designed to treat skin cancers on the head, neck and other high-risk sites as well as high-risk skin cancers anywhere on the body. Mohs surgery is completed in one day, usually with the Mohs surgeon repairing the surgical wound once the skin cancer is removed.

Some studies show that SRT have lower cure rates than Mohs surgery, but some more recent studies show a similar cure rate for low-risk skin cancers. Concerns about studies evaluating SRT include that many studies have a short follow-up duration and that studies do not confirm that skin cancer is completely removed by evaluating skin under the microscope.

Considering cost, SRT is more expensive than surgery.

Who May Consider SRT?

Patients who may want to consider SRT over surgery are patients who are poor surgical candidates, patients who have already had many surgeries and are developing treatment fatigue, and patients who are very concerned about cosmetic outcomes. Patients who are unable to take a break from strenuous activities may consider SRT over surgery.

Who Should Not Consider SRT?

Patients with aggressive or recurrent skin cancers should not consider SRT. Radiation is sometimes needed for aggressive skin cancers. This form of radiation is different from SRT and requires a referral to a radiation oncologist. Younger patients should avoid SRT as radiation can increase the risk of additional tumors developing within irradiated skin decades later.

There is a risk of developing additional tumors within the irradiated skin decades after treatment, so younger patients should give extra consideration to this risk when making their decision to proceed with SRT

Interested in Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT)? Request a consultation with a skin specialist today.

*Treatment options may vary at each location.
Please confirm your desired treatment is offered at your preferred location when scheduling.
*Age Restriction.
For patients scheduling who are under 18 years of age (19 in Alabama) please make sure you have permission from your parent or legal guardian to schedule this appointment.  Your parent or legal guardian must accompany you on your initial visit and on certain subsequent visits to provide appropriate informed consent.

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