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June 1961

Skin Cancer: A Technique for Improved Cosmetic End-Result in Radiation Therapy for Skin Cancer

Author Affiliations


Assistant Clinical Professor in Dermatology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(6):1002. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580120114028

For many years now, the dermatologist has taken pride in the fact that many diseases could adequately and effectively be treated in the office. Among those diseases, skin cancer is prominent. The method of therapy for most basal- or squamous-cell carcinomas of the skin has resolved down to either local destruction by various means, local destruction plus irradiation, or irradiation alone. Since the dermatologist frequently uses irradiation therapy1 either alone or after curettage or electrocoagulation, it is very important that we obtain the most desirable cosmetic end-result consistent with complete and thorough therapy. This implies correct dosage as well as the correct field of therapy beyond the visible and obvious tumor.

We have all seen the sharply demarcated, deeply depigmented end-result of one application of radium, or a few large doses of x-ray therapy. It is generally agreed that fractionated therapy of 7 to 10 exposures during a period