This treatment is quite costly (often in excess of $15,000) and is usually reserved for those who are late-middle aged or elderly who are not good surgical candidates or do not wish to undergo surgery. Healing can be excellent, although 9 or more treatment sessions are needed, depending upon the depth of the tumor and the dosage of radiation given. Most treatments take only several minutes and are painless. Unfortunately many patients develop skin irritation during or, more commonly, immediately following treatment. This irritation, called radiation dermatitis, can take several weeks or even months to resolve. The cure rate for radiation for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is as high as 97%.