SRT: Superficial Radiation Therapy
The non-invasive non-surgical alternative for skin cancer.
Skin cancer is on the rise and is a health issue that is becoming all too common right here in Charlotte, NC and around the region. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
A new skin cancer advancement is now available. We are excited to introduce SRT, also known as superficial radiation therapy for non-melanoma skin cancers. SRT provides our patients an additional choice ensuring receipt of an optimal treatment.
We’re pleased to now offer our patients a new, scalpel-free, non-surgical treatment option for non-melanoma skin cancer. Our newly acquired SRT-100 Vision™ system uses SRT (Superficial Radiation Therapy), an excellent alternative treatment with a 95% cure rate that rivals surgery.
Although traditional skin cancer procedures are still effective, they require incisions that can result in painful healing and lengthy recovery. SRT is an innovative “cure without cutting” with short treatment sessions here in the comfort of our office with clear benefits:
- No anesthesia, cutting, stitching, scarring or pain
- No downtime or lifestyle restrictions
- No need for post-treatment reconstructive surgeries
SRT delivers a precise, low dose of radiation that only goes skin deep and safely destroys cancer cells without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue.
What to expect during your course of therapy
- A knowledgeable staff of Dermatologists, Radiation Therapists, support staff and billing experts all in place to assist you during treatment.
- Your review and signing of an informed consent to discuss treatment expectations.
- A simulation where photos, ultrasound images, and treatment parameters are entered into a computer for documentation and reproducibility. (No treatment on this day.)
- An overview of your treatment schedule: (2x, 3x, 4x or 5x/week for a total of 20 treatments).
- You will generally be treated by the same Radiation Therapist each time you come in, but all the Radiation Therapists are trained to treat you.
- Your Radiation Therapist will evaluate your skin reaction, and once per week you will be seen by your practitioner for evaluation (No treatment given on the day you see your practitioner.)
- Your care team will recommend medication as needed for skin reactions, change your treatment if necessary, or place you on break for a short period if the skin needs some rest from the treatment.
- Your skin will heal up quickly after treatment is completed.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
- Am I radioactive, and is my treatment dangerous to myself or others? No, you are not radioactive and your treatment is very safe.
- Will my hair fall out? Your hair will only fall out in the area treated, and that would be a very small area.
- Will I be sick? No, other than mild irritation at the treatment site, your body is unaffected.
- Does the treatment penetrate bone? No, the treatment only penetrates a few millimeters into the patient’s tissue, and has little effect on normal surrounding tissue.
- What precautions should I follow? Wash the area lightly with a gentle soap, do not use a washcloth, pat dry, and do not use perfumes or deodorants or any kind of medicine on the area without checking with your caregiver. Always cover the area with clothing or sunscreen, as the skin is more sensitive to sunlight when being treated and after treatment is completed.
- If the lesion were to come back, can I have it treated with SRT again? No, in the unlikely event your cancer were to come back, it would have to be treated surgically.
- If I’ve had radiation before in the area where my cancer is, can I have it treated with SRT? No, the skin can only be treated once with radiation.
- Will the treatment hurt? No, the treatment is painless.
- How long will I be in the office each day for treatment? Treatments generally take about 15 minutes total.
(Simulation on the first day takes 30-45 minutes.)
- How much will this treatment cost me? With most insurances, patients are generally out of pocket some dollars based on coverage and deductibles. just like with surgery. The amounts can range from very little out-of-pocket expense to several thousand dollars based on your insurance plan. For example, patients with Medicare and a secondary insurance often pay nothing for treatment. Commercial plans are generally associated with a deductible, which varies greatly.
- Is this treatment covered by insurance? Yes, most insurances as well as Medicare cover SRT.
- If I have to miss an appointment, will that cause a problem? No, unlike treatment in a cancer center, the occasional missed appointment is easily remedied by adding the missed appointment to the end. Minor breaks in treatment do not generally affect your treatment.
- How will I know if the treatment is working? Your Radiation Therapist will image the area every day with ultrasound, and once per week your practitioner will do the same to evaluate the cancer’s response to the treatment.
Are you a candidate for SRT? If you have basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, speak with us about SRT. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. We currently offer SRT Therapy in our Gastonia/959 Cox Rd. and Hickory/Tate Blvd. Building 200, Charlotte/Blakeney, and Shelby offices. Schedule an appointment today.