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Is radiation for basal cell safe?
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Is radiation for basal cell safe?

Dr. Rockoff:

My daughter who is 31 years old has a nodular infiltrative basal cell on the side of her nose.  We have seen numerous mohs and plastic surgeons, all of which believe that with surgery she will ultimately have a flap done from her cheek (her basal cell is on the nostril and her dermatologist believes it will probably be deep).  While doing research on the web, I discovered that there is an option of radiation.  We went to the Chief Plastic Surgeon at the University of Miami and asked him about the possiblity of radiation.  After examining her, he agreed that due to the severity and location of the leision, that radiation may be the way to go.  He requested the slides of the biopsy, which we are awaiting at this time, and is sending her to a radiation oncologist for an opinion after review of the slides.  We know very little about radiation and after reading one your your answers on this site, I understand that there are some major risks.  What may those be for a 31 year old.  Are there many treatments involved, what about scarring?  I asked a friend who had radiation for breast cancer and she said she did not have any scarring on her skin after the radiation.  Is that also true for the nose?  I would so appreciate your opinion on this and what are the advantages of one over the other (mohs)?  Why do most dermatologists suggest Mohs over radiation which is less invasive?
Thank you.


This discussion is related to Radiation vs surgery.
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Hi I've only just joined this community so my reply is a bit late. I am a 53 year old female.  I had 6 weeks radiation therapy to my nose 2 years ago after a BCC removal from the end of my nose.  The BCC had got into a nerve and although the margin was clear 6 weeks radiation was recommended because of the way BCC's can move (undetected) down the nerve.  There was sunburn like redness (and soreness) during the radiation procedure, plus, a very sore nose generally.  At this stage (2 years after radiation)  there are no visual effects.  Occasionally my nasal passages ache especially in dry low humid conditions.  Also, because of the radiation, I have to avoid any further sun damage.  Hat and sunscreen are a permanent part of my life now.  I hope this is of help
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