More than 3-million Americans are diagnosed every year with non-melanoma skin cancer. While the numbers are staggering, the survival rate for most skin cancers is high, with new therapies emerging to help patients overcome cancer with minimal, lasting impact.
One such treatment is Superficial Radiotherapy, which, as its name suggests, provides skin-deep treatment that attacks non-melanoma cancer cells. The procedure is quick, virtually painless and often affordable, allowing money for cancer patients’ care to stay in their own pockets instead of going to hefty hospital bills. But, SRT may not be right for everyone.
What is SRT?
SRT is most often used to treat basal and squamous cell cancers, which are not forms of melanoma, a more serious type of skin cancer. SRT uses low doses of radiation to kill the cancer cells. The treatment takes only about 30 seconds, and is delivered once or twice a week for several weeks.
Pros of SRT
- SRT can be performed in a doctor’s office, eliminating the need for a hospital visit.
- The treatment lessens the risk of scarring that’s often associated with the Mohs procedure, in which skin is removed layer by layer.
- There are relatively few side effects associated with SRT, except for some mild redness and irritation.
- SRT is typically a low-cost alternative to other treatments.
- The treatment is especially beneficial for people who face risks with surgery or who shouldn’t undergo anesthesia.
Cons of SRT
- SRT is not as thorough as Mohs, which is still considered the front-line defense against non-melanoma skin cancer.
- The doses of radiation associated with SRT could increase the risk of recurrence of skin cancer later in life.
SRT has been used for more than 40 years but, with the rise in technology, new equipment has been developed in recent years that is making the procedure even more popular. While SRT may not be the best option for everyone, it is certainly a viable option that can help some cancer patients recover in record time and with relative ease.