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Radiation therapy can be effective for treating squamous cell carcinoma lesions that develop in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). This treatment can also be used to target cancer cells that have spread to nearby lymph nodes. Depending on a patient’s specific needs and circumstances, radiation therapy may be recommended to control the growth of the cancer or alleviate its symptoms by impairing the cancer cells’ ability to grow and multiply. As cancer cells are destroyed by powerful beams of ionizing radiation, they are naturally eliminated by the body.

One common form of radiation treatment for squamous cell carcinoma is external beam radiation therapy. This treatment is:

  • Delivered from a machine called a linear accelerator, which is located outside of a patient’s body
  • Designed to penetrate only a short distance below the skin’s surface
  • Targeted precisely at a squamous cell carcinoma site so that the high-energy X-rays are directed at the lesion and exposure to the surrounding areas is minimized
  • Usually scheduled daily, from Monday through Friday, over the course of several weeks
  • Typically fast and painless
  • Often incorporated into a multimodal treatment plan that also includes surgery, chemotherapy or biological therapy

The Radiation Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center offers patients access to state-of-the-art radiation treatment equipment, but it is our outstanding team that makes the true difference in improving cancer outcomes. These talented professionals specialize in skin cancer treatment and are highly skilled and experienced in using advanced radiation therapy techniques to target lesions, destroy cancer cells and relieve pain. Throughout the course of treatment and beyond, our patients have access to a full range of supportive care services, as well as innovative surveillance programs designed to detect and address squamous cell carcinoma recurrences as early as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about radiation for squamous cell carcinoma, you can receive expert guidance and compassionate support at Moffitt. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.