NO to Radiation Therapy in Treatment of Keloids
Radiation therapy is an important method component of treating cancers, however, it has also been used in treatment of non-cancerous conditions, including keloids. Purpose of radiation therapy in treatment of keloids is to reduce the chance of recurrence after a keloid is removes surgically.
Although addition of radiation to surgery does reduce the chance of recurrence, it does NOT totally prevent recurrence in all patients. The best results seen by using the method show 15-20% recurrence after surgery.
The most important concern about using radiation is its potential to cause long term complications such as cancer and damage to the organs and tissues near the site of radiation.
In my opinion, radiation therapy should not be used for the treatment of keloids. Several decades ago, radiation therapy at even lower doses was used for the treatment of acne and fungal infections of the scalp. Although very effective, these practices were banned because of the documented increased risk of cancer among the treated patients. Perhaps economy plays a role in the utilization of radiation therapy for keloid patients. Cost of delivery of radiation therapy to a keloid is in range of $10,000.
The patients shown below, despite having had radiation, did not benefit form this intervention and indeed, their keloids got much worse.