Carcinomas of the skin are the most accessible cancers, the diagnosis is readily made and the limits of the lesion are usually easy to define. No single treatment method is best for all cancers of the skin. If the sole criterion of success is eradication of the lesion, surgery and radiotherapy yield similar results. Most cutaneous cancers are sufficiently sensitive to radiation to be eradicated by doses that are well tolerated by the surrounding normal tissue. If appropriate principles are followed and precautions are taken, X-irradiation is a safe and effective method of therapy [1, 2]. Our discussion is deliberately limited to radiotherapy of cutaneous cancers of moderate size that can be effectively treated with Grenz rays, superficial X-rays or contact therapy units. Larger and more complicated skin cancers should be referred to Mohs’surgery and/or radiation oncologists for treatment with higher kilovoltage, megavoltage, or electron beam techniques or for implants with radioactive isotopes.
Renato G. Panizzon