How effective is brachytherapy in treating skin cancer?

Brachytherapy is a very effective treatment option for skin cancer. Complete response is seen in >95% of patients. This is comparable with surgical excision.

Will the brachytherapy procedure hurt?

Superficial brachytherapy itself is painless. Only in cases where doctors decide that invasive procedures are required for optimal outcome can anesthesia be applied.

If I have brachytherapy, do I have to stay in hospital overnight?

Treatment is usually given on an outpatient basis. Standard brachytherapy procedures for treating skin lesions do not require hospitalisation.

How will I know if brachytherapy has worked?

After your procedure, you will be scheduled regular appointments to check that the tumor is responding to the treatment. Based on clinical experience, a complete response is expected in more than 95% of all patients.

What are the side effects of brachytherapy?

All treatments for skin cancer carry a risk of side effects. Immediately after the brachytherapy treatment, a redness or rash may appear on the skin. This usually resolves within a couple of weeks after finalising the treatments. For more information read the side effects section.

Will I be left with any scars?

In the majority of cases, the area of skin being treated with brachytherapy will return to normal appearance after a couple of weeks. In some cases a slight mark or discolouration of the skin may occur.

How soon can I get back to work after receiving brachytherapy?

The recovery times after brachytherapy for skin cancer is usually very short. You can probably return to your normal daily routine immediately after treatment.

The Precise Answer for Tackling Skin Cancer

Download the skin cancer patient guide (pdf)