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George K. Verghese, MD
Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Treatment Now Available
Mid-Atlantic Skin Surgery Institute
. https://midatlanticskinsurgery.com/

Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Treatment Now Available

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers, skin cancer is the most frequent form of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers the two most common types of skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year. They usually form on visible parts of the body including the head, face, neck, hands, and arms.

The traditional “gold standard” treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer has been Mohs surgery. This very effective surgery involves a series of excisions of cancerous tissue and surrounding healthy tissue until the cancer can no longer be detected. However, this procedure can sometimes lead to substantial cosmetic surgery requirements and a prolonged healing process that often leaves the patient with a visible scar.

While superficial radiotherapy (SRT) for the treatment of skin cancer has been available for many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of Sensus Healthcare's SRT-100 has made this noninvasive skin cancer treatment more widely available.

The SRT-100 is designed to be used in a physician's office and provides an effective, nonsurgical and pain-free therapy to treat basal and squamous cell skin cancers. It uses low-energy radiotherapy that goes no deeper than the thickness of the skin and doesn't harm surrounding or underlying healthy tissue.

The radiation targets abnormal cells by disrupting cell division; tumor cells divide more rapidly than normal cells, making the tumor an easy target for radiation. Normal cells are able to repair themselves because they are not going through this rapid growth, making this form of surface radiation highly effective in treating non-melanoma skin cancers and a cosmetically attractive alternative to surgery in selected cancers and patient populations, particularly those with challenges such as thin skin or diabetes.

This form of therapy represents an important step in the evolution of reliable and patient-friendly skin cancer treatments. With the SRT-100, a patient simply sits or reclines in a chair while the radiation is precisely directed at the treatment area. In most cases, a series of treatments are scheduled per week for a few weeks. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes including the prep time. The skin usually becomes a bit red (similar to a mild sunburn) and then returns to normal with no scarring in about two weeks after the final treatment.

Basal and squamous cell skin cancer patients, especially those who are concerned about scarring or seeking to avoid surgery, should consider superficial radiotherapy as a treatment option.

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