Chapter 10

Skin Toxicity in Palliative Radiation Therapy

L. Hertan,    Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, United States


Radiation is a frequently used tool in the palliation of patients with metastatic cancer. Skin toxicity is a common, dose-related, side effect of radiation. There are multiple treatment- and patient- related factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing radiation-related skin toxicity. Acute reactions defined as occurring during or shortly after radiation therapy, include erythema, hyperpigmentation, dryness, pain, itchiness, hair loss, and desquamation. Late reactions, occurring months to years after radiation, include telangiectasias, fibrosis, hypo- or hyperpigmentation, ...

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