Contact X-Ray Therapy for Superficial Lesions

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BIRTHMARKS, keratoses, keloids, warts, local recurrences from cancer of the breast, superficial epitheliomas, and many similar accessible lesions can be quickly and successfully treated with “contact” x-ray apparatus. These conditions also have been treated with caustic chemical agents, surgical procedures with cautery or scalpel, radium, and higher voltage x-rays. During the past eight years contact x-ray therapy has been preferred at the Cleveland Clinic because of several advantages over these methods.

The apparatus (fig. 1) employed was developed by Chaoul in Berlin primarily as a substitute for radium in the treatment of accessible lesions. Its effectiveness depends upon the design of the x-ray tube. The tube is constructed so that the source of the rays (focal spot) is near (2.0 cm.) the opening through which the rays are emitted. Because of this a large quantity of rays is produced (8500 r per minute, no filter), and since the apparatus is operated at low voltage (50 K.V.) the rays have minimal penetrability (20 per cent at 1.0 cm. depth).

The advantages of this method of treatment over others are:

  1. The quantity of rays produced is so great that treatment can be given in a few seconds or a minute or two. This is particularly helpful when treating children.

  2. As penetrability of the rays is minimal there is no serious damage to underlying tissues, therefore there is little scar formation. This is particularly beneficial when treating lesions on the face, about the eyes, over cartilages of the nose or ear,. . .



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