Treatment Results for Basal Cell and Squamous Cancer

Radiation control rate for small skin cancers is quite good, with control rates for basal cell cancers slightly better than for squamous cell cancers:

Control Rate with Radiation, 3 Large Series
Basal Cell 98% 95% 96%
Squamous Cell 92% 87% 88%

Control Rates for untreated cases are better than for cases that have been pervious treated and then recurred or relapsed:

Control Rates with Radiation
Type Untreated Relapsed
Basal Cell 95% 82%
Squamous Cell 87% 65%

Control rates with radiation are also better for smaller tumors than larger lesions:

Control by Tumor Size
Size Control Rate
< 2 cm 99%
2 - 5 cm 92%
> 5 cm 60%

The risk of skin damage or necrosis is small, 0 - 12% for basal cells and 0 - 6% for squamous cell cancer. The risk of skin damage is higher for larger tumors:

Skin Damage with Radiation
Size Skin Damage
< 1cm 0.9%
1 - 5 cm 6.5%
> 5cm  

Data for the tables from Textbooks of Radiation by Moss and Perez