John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Head and neck basal cell carcinoma prevalence in individuals submitted to childhood X-ray epilation for tinea capitis treatment Volume 22, issue 2, March-April 2012


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Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Portugal, Medical Faculty University of Porto Portugal, Center for Research in Health Technologies and Information Systems (CINTESIS), Porto, Portugal
  • Key words: basal cell carcinoma, scalp irradiation, scalp ringworm, skin pigmentation, tinea capitis, X-ray epilation
  • DOI : 10.1684/ejd.2012.1670
  • Page(s) : 225-30
  • Published in: 2012

Background: A higher prevalence for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has been associated with radiation, namely with tinea capitis epilation treatment. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of head and neck basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and to identify the major risk factors for BCC in individuals irradiated in childhood for tinea capitis treatment. Methods: We clinically observed 1,308 individuals from an original cohort of 5,356 irradiated between 1950 and 1963, registering previous skin lesions excisions and proposing for surgery all the suspicious lesions detected. In 585 participants, 47 with BCC, the skin pigmentation was measured. Results: The overall prevalence of BCC was 8.0% and of multiple BCC was 2.4%. Both total (14.7%) and multiple BCC (6.6%) were significantly more common in the individuals who had received a higher radiation dose. Multiple BCC was more prevalent (3.7%) in younger irradiated individuals and total BCC (9.4%) in women. Participants with BCC and without BCC presented similar skin pigmentation. Conclusion: Younger age at irradiation, higher dose and female gender increased the risk of developing BCC in these irradiated individuals.