Skin cancer can cause serious risks to your health, but many treatments come with such severe complications that the side effects can seem worse than the effects of the disease itself. For this reason, many people in need of skin cancer treatment often seek alternate options, especially non-surgical ones like superficial radiation therapy.
At West Dermatology, we are committed to providing you with the best skin cancer therapy available. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about the options we have to treat your particular case. With various locations throughout the southwestern United States, including Hillcrest, Las Vegas, Henderson, and more, West Dermatology has been serving families like yours for over 60 years.
What is Superficial Radiation Therapy?
Radiation is an essential, viable component in fighting cancer because it alters the DNA of a cancerous cell, thus restricting the cell’s ability to reproduce and spread, which eventually results in the death of the cell.
Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) uses a low-energy radiation that penetrates to only a very shallow depth. The radiation in SRT is not as powerful as the version utilized in treating other types of cancer, so it is a safer, appealing alternative to more invasive treatments.
This particular radiation therapy is FDA-approved for treating any area of your body where non-melanoma skin cancer has developed, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
How Is Superficial Radiation Therapy Beneficial?
Superficial radiotherapy treats non-melanoma cancers located on the surface of your skin nearly anywhere on your body:
- Around the mouth
SRT is particularly suited for treating lesions that develop in areas where aesthetics matter and cosmetic complications are to be avoided at all costs, such as those on the areas of your face, head, and neck.
The superficial radiotherapy technology was designed specifically to combat skin cancer; its radiation is less powerful than other radiation devices and can penetrate only 5 millimeters below the surface of your skin. This allows the surrounding, healthy tissue to be preserved even as the infected, cancerous tissue is destroyed. Also, no other organs are affected. For many of our patients in Nevada, this non-surgical radiotherapy is the effective skin cancer treatment they’ve been looking for.
Following are some of the top advantages that superficial skin cancer therapy has over traditional high-radiation or surgical procedures:
- Virtually painless
- Provides same high success rates as surgery
- Short treatment sessions
- No anesthesia necessary
- Almost no scarring
- Very little downtime
- Quick healing and recovery
Superficial radiotherapy can be effective even if you’ve had previous radiation treatment for another, unrelated type of cancer. Contact West Dermatology to find out how SRT could work for you.
What Can You Expect from Superficial Radiotherapy?
Since this radiation therapy delivers quick, precisely calibrated, low-energy doses without incisions or anesthesia, it’s safe enough to be performed in a physician’s office. The process is very simple, and how many sessions you need for your particular case depends on a variety of factors; most likely, you’ll need at least a couple of sessions for it to have the intended effect.
One session usually goes like this: your doctor will aim an applicator cone at your lesion and deliver the low-energy radiation right into the targeted area for about 90 seconds, which most patients report to be painless and successful in destroying basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Due to the low dose of radiation, side effects are at a minimum. After your session in Nevada, you probably will experience skin irritation and redness around the treated area for a couple of days. As you heal in the subsequent days and weeks, your treated skin will form a scab, under which your fresh, new, healthy skin will develop.
You don’t deal with any cutting, bleeding, or stitching. This means that there’s no risk of infection or scarring. Your recovery should be quick and you shouldn’t have any restrictions on what you can do. Learn more about radiation skin cancer treatment at WebMD.com.
What Is the Difference between SRT and Mohs?
Both SRT and Mohs surgery are nearly perfect treatment options; they both have very high success rates. The differences lie elsewhere.
While Mohs surgery is usually a one-day session, SRT most likely will require several sessions. A typical treatment entails three sessions per week for one month (usually a total of about 12 sessions). On the other hand, Mohs surgery is more invasive, as removal of your cancerous tissue is surgical, while SRT is non-invasive. A final difference is that with Mohs surgery, you immediately know if you’re completely clear of cancer (or not), whereas with SRT, this type of information takes several weeks to learn.
In essence, SRT is for people who want cancer treatment without needles or incisions, while Mohs is preferred by people who want to get their treatment over in one session.
Contact West Dermatology about Your Skin Cancer Treatment Options
You have plenty of options to treat your skin cancer. Not everyone wants to have their cancer lesions treated with invasive procedures like surgery or strong radiation. To learn more the beneficial effects of non-invasive, low-energy radiation treatment, contact the team at West Dermatology today to find the care you deserve. We have locations in Arizona, Nevada, and California.
Next, read about Topical Medications.