Coastal Radiation Oncology Medical Group
world-class cancer care has a local address.

Frequently Asked Questions

All About Radiation Treatment for Skin Cancer

Q. Is skin cancer common? Is it curable?

A. Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer diagnosed (especially in California), and fortunately it is readily treatable and rarely fatal.

Q. What are the options for treatment?

A. Patients often have a variety of choices for treating skin cancers. Countless small skin cancers are frozen, burned, shaved, excised, and treated every year by primary care doctors and dermatologists. Sometimes, skin cancers become larger, or involve the face or parts of the body where simple treatments may be inappropriate.

Q. If my skin cancer is not small, what are my options for treatment?

A. For many decades, superficial radiation therapy has been favored for these types of skin cancers, for several reasons:
  • control rates with modern radiation therapy are similar to what is achievable with aggressive surgery
  • organ function is usually not affected (for example, an eyelid skin cancer can be treated without removal of the eyelid)
  • and most patients heal without scarring

Due to the excellent cosmetic results radiotherapy offers, many patients prefer radiation therapy over surgery for treatment of skin cancers on the face. This is a personal decision, and your Coastal radiation oncologist will discuss your options with you.

For a wealth of in-depth information on skin cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute.