Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States, with more than 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed every year. As with all cancers, prompt treatment is essential if patients are to avoid suffering symptoms unnecessarily and achieve the best possible outcome from treatment.
SRT stands for Superficial Radiation Therapy – an FDA-approved, effective non-surgical treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers. SRT uses high concentrations of radiation that are targeted directly at the cancerous tissue in order to destroy it. These damaged cancer cells are unable to repair themselves and will die off, completing the treatment process.
Below we answer some of the questions that we are asked most frequently about this innovative cancer treatment technology.
Will SRT Damage My Healthy Skin?
No, one of the biggest benefits of SRT is that unlike other forms of radiation, it does not damage the surrounding skin. Instead, this remains completely healthy and intact while the radiation targets only the cancerous cells. It also penetrates around just 5mm below the surface of your skin, preventing any further internal damage too.
Does Superficial Radiation Therapy Hurt?
One of the most common questions we are asked is whether patients can expect any discomfort or pain when they have SRT treatment. We are pleased to say that SRT is completely painless, meaning that there is no need for anesthesia.
Will I Need to Take Time Off After Treatment?
Another key benefit for many patients is that there is no downtime after each session, enabling you to get back to your usual work or home life. Dr. Green will give you some aftercare instructions to follow, so it’s just important to follow these closely and speak to our team if you have any questions.
Will There Be Scarring?
Many patients love that there is normally little to no scarring following SRT, which enables them to avoid reconstructive surgery and feel happier and more confident about their appearance.
How Many Sessions of SRT Will I Need?
Every patient is different, and your dermatologist or oncologist will create a treatment plan that is custom to your specific needs. Most patients will need between 15 and 20 sessions, depending on the size and location of their cancer. These are usually carried out with two to three treatments each week. Luckily, appointment times are usually less than ten minutes each time, making them easier to fit into a busy schedule.
What Can I Expect to Happen at My Superficial Radiation Therapy Treatment Session?
Getting prepared for the treatment usually takes longer than the actual radiation element of the session itself! This is because the skin and structures around the treatment area will need to be covered with protective shields before the radiation can be applied. Your dermatology team at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center will also want to track the progress of the treatment by monitoring how the cancer is shrinking so that the necessary adjustments can be made for each therapy session.
Are There Any Side Effects of SRT?
Side effects from SRT are minimal. Patients may experience some redness, dryness, or itching in the target area, and if so, you’ll be provided topical solutions to use to alleviate these effects.
Am I a Good Candidate for SRT?
Not everyone with skin cancer is a good candidate for superficial radiation therapy. You’ll need to attend a consultation with Dr. Green at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center to establish if SRT is the best course of action for your cancer.
Want to find out more about superficial radiation therapy? Please contact our dedicated dermatology team at Green Dermatology & Cosmetic Center in Deerfield Beach, Florida today at 954-947-4500 to schedule your consultation.