Keloid Treatment on Stomach - Will Radiation Cause Cancer?

I have large keloids on my stomach from 2001 surgery and they irritate and hurt me. I visited a dermotologist who says my only 2 options are steroids or skin radiation treatment. He says one of the draw backs from the radiation is the skill may break down. Does rediation cause cancer? He shot the larger one 12 times with steroids and 3 days later, my entire stomach is very sore. What is the best treatment for keloids?

Doctor Answers 3

Keloid scars

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A keloid scar is a hypertrophic scar. In other words, a scar that has over healed. Several factors contribute to keloid scar formation. Genetics is the biggest factor. Other factors are skin or wound tension at the time of healing and infection... even the type of sutures used affects keloid scar formation. Absorbable suture can be more reactive and also lead to keloid scarring. Small keloid scars can be treated with kenalog injections. A larger keloid usually needs surgical excision. If excision has been tried before with optimal healing conditions then radiation can be beneficial. It is several treatments of very low dose radiation. It is not known to cause cancer but a radiation oncologist would be best at addressing that concern.

Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Keloids Often Require Surgery and Radiation but Timed!

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I perform a ton of procedures on keloids.  if it is a hypertrophic scar, then just KTP or Pulsed Dye laser plus 5-FU injections would be sufficient over many times.  If it is a keloid it should be cut out and have radiation timed to follow less than 24 hours out for 5 cycles.  if you do not do radiation immediately following removal, your success if much poorer.  with TIMED radiation following surgery, the success rate is over 95% in most cases.  as far as cancer the odds are very low but you have to talk with a radiation oncologist to give you the right odds.  please see the attached link for a video on distinguishing between keloids and hypertrophic scars and watch the video embedded to understand how to do radiation appropriately after keloid excision.


sam lam

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Keloid Treatment on Stomach

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A photo posted would have helped. True keloids are very difficult to treat. From your excellent description I would do the combination of radiation and steroid injections. Best of luck.

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