(HealthDay News) – Superficial X-ray therapy remains a viable treatment for primary basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in select patients, according to a study published online July 23 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

To examine the efficacy and viability of superficial X-ray therapy in the treatment of BCC and SCC, Armand B. Cognetta, MD, from Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee in Florida, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 1,715 histologically confirmed primary cutaneous BCC and SCC among outpatients seen between 2000 and 2010. All tumors were treated with superficial X-ray therapy.

Of the tumors reviewed, the researchers found that 712 were histologically proven BCC (631 nodular and 81 superficial), 994 were SCC, and 9 displayed features of both BCC and SCC. At 2 and 5 years, the cumulative recurrence rates were 1.9 and 5.0%, respectively, for all tumors; 2.0 and 4.2%, respectively, for all BCC; and 1.8 and 5.8%, respectively, for all SCC. There was a significantly increased likelihood of recurrence for tumors on male patients and tumors with a diameter greater than 2 cm.

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“Superficial X-ray therapy remains a viable nonsurgical option for the treatment of primary BCC and SCC in patients where surgical intervention is declined, unadvisable, or potentially associated with significant cosmetic or functional limitations,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Sensus Health Care.

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