Skin Cancer After Radiation Treatment

Last Modified: June 7, 2011


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Will radiation treatments for other cancers give me skin cancer?


Suzanne McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, Oncology Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine, responds:

Thanks for your question. Radiation can increase your risk for skin cancers in the area that received radiation. The most common types of skin cancers seen are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore, so it is important to see a dermatologist regularly. In addition, your radiation oncologist and your medical oncologist will be checking for any late effects of your prior treatment during your follow up visits. Some cancer centers also offer specialized survivorship clinics in which late effects of prior cancer therapies are the focus of follow up appointments. If you notice any changes in the texture or color of your skin in the radiated area or any new lesions in the field, you should bring those to the attention of your health care providers for further evaluation.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript on Sun Safety.