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Radiation Dermatitis
Like many life-saving treatments, radiation therapy can often cause side effects. Not only cancer cells are targeted by the radiation beams but also the healthy surrounding cells. Unfortunately, this cannot be completely avoided. A prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation may eventually lead to the development of radiation dermatitis (RD). This troublesome skin disease is a very common side effect which occurs during ongoing radiation therapy and affects 75% – 95% of patients. 8, 9, 12, 14, 18, 22, 26

Radiation dermatitis could be mistaken for a skin burn. However, it is the result of damaged cells in deeper layers of the skin. Its effects can be observed at the skin surface when an imbalance between the normal cell production and destruction occurs.15