Principles of Radiotherapy
The clinical effects of ionizing radiation on the skin have been known since the discovery of X‐rays in 1895. Initially, both benign and malignant skin conditions were irradiated, and dose and clinical indications were chosen empirically with little knowledge of the late effects of radiation on the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Indications for treating benign disease by irradiation have declined since the advent of topical steroids. It is in the best interest of patients suffering from skin tumours to be seen in a clinic where the expertise of specialists in radiotherapy and oncology, plastic surgery and micrographic surgery as well as dermatology are present. This is being achieved with the mandatory development of multidisciplinary team meetings and clinics in the UK as described in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines of 2006.
Keywords superficial radiotherapy, electrons, brachytherapy, Valencia applicator, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, mycosis fungoides, cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma, lip, pinna