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Superficial Radiotherapy: A Brief Introduction

December 14, 2023

Superficial radiotherapy (SRT) is a type of radiation therapy that uses low-energy X-rays to treat skin conditions. It is called “superficial” because the radiation only penetrates the top layer of the skin, which makes it an effective treatment for skin cancers and other skin conditions that are located on or near the surface of the skin. The treatment is non-invasive and requires no anesthesia, making it a popular option for patients who are not candidates for surgery.

Why choose SRT?

The purpose of superficial radiotherapy is to destroy cancerous or abnormal cells on the skin’s surface. The low-energy X-rays used in SRT are targeted directly at the affected area, causing damage to the DNA in the cells. This damage stops the abnormal cells from multiplying and can ultimately lead to their death. Superficial radiotherapy is also used to treat other skin conditions, such as benign lesions, keloids, and hypertrophic scars. The goal of treatment is to improve or resolve the condition while minimizing side effects and preserving the surrounding healthy tissue.

Post-treatment care

After treatment, patients may experience redness, itching, and soreness in the treated area. It is important to follow all instructions provided by the healthcare provider to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. Patients should avoid exposing the treated area to direct sunlight or tanning beds until fully healed. They should also avoid using any lotions, creams, or other products on the treated area unless instructed to do so by their healthcare provider. Patients should also keep the treated area clean and dry, and avoid swimming or soaking in water until the area is fully healed. It is also important to keep all follow-up appointments with the healthcare provider to monitor the healing process and ensure that any issues are addressed promptly.

Conditions Treated with Superficial Radiotherapy

Some of the conditions that can be treated with superficial radiotherapy include keloids and hypertrophic scars, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and other benign skin lesions such as dermatofibromas and sebaceous hyperplasia. The treatment is also effective in treating certain types of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Superficial radiotherapy is a safe and painless treatment that is performed on an outpatient basis, with no downtime required.

Risks and Side Effects of Superficial Radiotherapy

Like any medical procedure, SRT has its own set of risks and side effects. Some common risks associated with SRT include skin irritation, redness, and itchiness in the treated area. In rare cases, patients may experience blistering, scarring, or changes in skin color. Other side effects of SRT may include fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite. Patients may also experience temporary hair loss in the treated area. It is important for patients to discuss the risks and benefits of SRT with their healthcare provider before undergoing the procedure. Your healthcare provider can help you weigh the potential risks of treatment against the potential benefits to determine if SRT is the right treatment option for you.

The Future of SRT

The future of SRT looks promising. With advancements in technology and techniques, it offers a non-invasive and effective treatment option for various skin conditions and superficial tumors. Moreover, the treatment is quick, painless, and has minimal side effects, making it a preferred choice for patients. As more research is conducted in this field, it is expected that the use of SRT will continue to expand, providing hope to many patients.