Primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma (PCALCL) is a rare CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorder with excellent outcomes reported despite frequent cutaneous relapses. Limited information exists on the development of systemic lymphoma. The British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA) Lymphoid Cancer Database was searched to identify all adults diagnosed with PCALCL from 1993 to 2013. From 2005, the BCCA endorsed radiotherapy (RT) alone for limited stage with data failing to support chemotherapy. Forty-seven patients were identified with a male predominance (n = 31, 66%), median age of 64 years and predominantly limited stage (n = 40, 85%). Median follow-up was 8·4 years. The 5-year time to progression (TTP) was 58% (64% limited versus 29% advanced stage). The 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival was 86% and 75%, respectively. In an as-treated analysis, the 5-year DSS for limited stage patients was similar comparing RT to combined modality treatment or chemotherapy alone but the 5-year TTP favoured RT (82% vs. 33%, P = 0·004). The 5-year cumulative risk of developing systemic lymphoma was 14%. Our results confirm the favourable prognosis of PCALCL despite a high relapse rate. Limited stage patients treated with RT alone have excellent outcomes. There is a small risk of systemic lymphoma in PCALCL.