Treatment for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in Dallas
Superficial Radiation Therapy with Sensus Healthcare SRT-100™
A cancer diagnosis can be scary, even for patients dealing with non-melanoma skin cancer. Dallas dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner understands that, which is why she offers patient education along with highly effective treatments designed to maximize the health and look of skin impacted by basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
The Sensus Healthcare SRT-100™ is a nonsurgical treatment that uses superficial radiation therapy to destroy non-melanoma skin cancer cells without the need for incisions. Patients can avoid the duration and side effects of surgery while still enjoying the benefits of a successful treatment. The lack of surgical scarring is a considerable benefit for patients dealing with cancer in a cosmetically sensitive area, such as the ear, nose, or eyelid.
What is the SRT-100™?
From Sensus Healthcare, the SRT-100™ is a device that uses low-dose radiation to target and destroy non-melanoma skin cancer cells, as well as keloid-forming tumor cells. It works by delivering superficial radiation therapy just five millimeters into the skin, impacting the cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue intact.
SRT-100™ Treatment Details
Before moving forward with any treatment, patients will have a consultation with their dermatologist, who will examine their lesion, confirm non-melanoma skin cancer if necessary, and determine whether superficial radiation therapy is the best option. This may involve a skin biopsy or taking a sample to be tested. Not all patients are candidates for the procedure, and its appropriateness depends on a variety of factors, including the size, type, location, and stage of cancer.
*Patient results may vary
For those who are a good candidate, a single treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer takes only minutes to perform once the preparations have been made. The device works quickly and with precision, delivering carefully calibrated radiation only where it is needed most. Patients typically require eight to 15 treatments in order to achieve their ideal results.
There is no need for the sort of aftercare and recovery time associated with surgical tactics. Superficial radiation therapy for non-melanoma skin cancer also reduces the risk of infection and scarring typical of treatments that involve incisions.
What Is Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer?
There are three main types of skin cancer. From most common to least common, they are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma forms in the basal cells, which make up the base layer of the epidermis. It is a slow-moving cancer that rarely spreads beyond where it first forms, though it can grow both wide and deep if left unchecked, damaging the skin and even bone below.
*Patient results may vary
Squamous cells form the bulk of the outermost layer of skin. Cancer that forms in these cells is less common, but is more likely to grow and spread if left untreated.
Even less common but more deadly is melanoma, which forms in the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. If caught early, this cancer has a high cure rate, but if left untreated for too long, it can metastasize—spread to other areas of the body. This cancer is typically treated by more intense radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other strategies.
*Patient results may vary
Because of the generally localized nature and slower spread of non-melanoma skin cancers, they are suited for superficial radiation therapy from the SRT-100™. Dr. Ellen Turner and her team can explain more to patients interested in this treatment.
Is superficial radiation with SRT-100 an effective treatment for my skin cancer?
SRT-100 is equal in effectiveness to Mohs surgery excision for non-melanoma skin cancer, and better in effective when compared to traditional non-Mohs excision. In fact, Medicare and other managed care companies prefer superficial radiation with SRT-100 to Mohs surgery based on both its efficacy and lower cost. The best advantages for radiation over surgery are no scarring, and no pain.
Is superficial radiation with SRT-100 safe?
Yes! This device was specifically designed for the treatment of skin cancer. Unlike traditional radiation, which was designed to treat internal malignancies such as bone or liver, this level of radiation is a fraction of the energy since it only needs to penetrate to the base of the skin surface, where non-melanoma skin cancer lives. It is very safe.
Will I have any side effects from treatment with SRT-100?
Typical patients do not experience any side effects with their radiation treatments. It will typically take at least four treatments before the treated area becomes slightly pink in coloration. Sometimes the overlying treated skin can become slightly scaly or crusted. If there is pain at the site of treatment, this is unusual and should be reported to Dr. Ellen Turner immediately at (214) 373-7546. If the radiation treatment is performed in an area adjacent to the scalp, there will likely be temporary localized loss of hair within a few weeks to months post-radiation.
Do I have to perform special treatment to the site in between visits?
Patients undergoing SRT-100 superficial radiation are advised to avoid creams and lotions, such as sunscreen, on the treatment area until one month post-completion. Patients should not apply a bandage to the treatment area.
Is SRT-100 expensive? Will my insurance approve of this treatment?
Medicare and managed care plans prefer SRT-100 to Mohs surgery because of its effectiveness and cost. If you are a Medicare patient, your radiation treatments will likely be covered in full after your Medicare deductible has been met. If you have a PPO or HMO plan, you may experience a high procedure deductible you must meet before the plan pays toward any procedure. If you prefer to become a self-paying patient, please ask our office about a payment plan or self-pay options if you choose not to utilize your managed care plan.