New treatment fights skin cancer without surgery

New non-invasive skin cancer treatment

A group of Austin doctors are using new advancements in medicine to fight skin cancer.

Their newest procedure is called surface radiation treatment (SRT), which uses radiation instead of surgery. This means no scars and no downtime.

Bill Stewart is using it to fight skin cancer.

"The radiation treatment doesn't require any knives or any needles," Stewart said.

Dr. Daniel Ladd of Tru Skin Dermatology said Stewart is given a precise dose of radiation that destroys his cancerous cells without damaging surrounding skin.

"What's cool about this is they calibrate the radiation dose for exactly the size and the depth of your tumor," Stewart said.
 
"The nice thing about it is if a patient has more than one area of skin cancer, we can treat them all at the same time," Dr. Ladd said.

The whole procedure only takes about 30 seconds and the entire time the patient can monitor how much their tumor is shrinking through ultrasound imaging.

"It allows them to take part in the cure of their own cancer," Dr. Ladd said.

Stewart said this procedure is a good alternative to surgery for skin cancer, which he's had before.

"I definitely prefer the surface radiation," Stewart said. "I mean the needle and the scalpel, it's almost to the point that I don't want to have the surgical treatment done. I'm so afraid of needles."

SRT typically requires around 20 treatments over 10 weeks.

In most cases insurance does cover this procedure, but if you have a deductible or coinsurance that will apply. The cost without insurance is $6,000 and financial assistance is offered.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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