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All About SRT for Skin Cancer

All About SRT for Skin Cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with basal or squamous cell carcinoma and want to avoid the scars and recovery time associated with surgical treatment, superficial radiation therapy (SRT) may be the option you’ve been seeking.

Dr. Klein and our team of dermatologists at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California, provide superficial radiation therapy using the SRT-100. This treatment method uses low-energy X-rays to target and destroy non-melanoma cancer cells near the surface of your skin. 

Take a moment to get the answers to all your questions about SRT for skin cancer.  

How does SRT for skin cancer work?

Understanding how SRT works helps explain why this therapy is a good choice for certain skin cancers. SRT non-surgically destroys non-melanoma cancer cells using highly targeted and precise X-rays. 

The low-energy X-rays have just enough power to penetrate the outer layers of skin without going deeper into the body. That means SRT targets only the skin’s surface where the cancer cells are located without affecting the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

The device can be adjusted to match the exact shape and size of your skin cancer, and we calibrate the radiation energy delivered by the SRT-100 based on your unique cancer. 

SRT-100 damages the DNA of the cancer cells, preventing them from reproducing. The cells eventually die, and your body naturally removes the dead cells with other cellular debris, clearing your skin of cancer. 

Why consider SRT for skin cancer instead of surgery?

SRT is a non-invasive therapy, meaning there’s no need for anesthesia, incisions, or stitches. That reduces your risk of infection and the complications that can arise with surgical procedures, including scarring. 

SRT treatments are quick and pain-free, with no recovery time required. That means you can immediately return to your normal daily activities without bandaging or bleeding. 

This treatment option is an excellent option for elderly patients or those with an underlying health issue that makes surgery risky. It’s also a great choice if you have lesions that are difficult to reach surgically or for those with multiple cancers requiring treatment. 

Most importantly, studies have shown that SRT provides high cure rates (95%), comparable to those of surgical methods (98%)—especially when treating early-stage non-melanoma cancers.   

What can I expect during and after an SRT session?

During your SRT treatment, you'll wear a protective vest or apron and be comfortably seated or lying down, depending on the location of your skin cancer. We mark your skin for treatment and position the device over the target area.

The SRT-100 delivers highly precise radiation therapy to the treatment areas. You can rest easy knowing you’ll experience little to no discomfort during the procedure. 

Treatment sessions are usually short, and you can leave immediately afterward. We give you detailed aftercare instructions, and you can return to your normal activities right away. 

Does SRT for skin cancer have risks or side effects?

When considering any medical treatment, weighing the benefits against the potential side effects and risks is important. While SRT is generally a safer alternative to invasive surgical procedures, it comes with some considerations, including:

Although uncommon, some people may experience more significant changes in skin texture or more pronounced scarring. We discuss all potential risks so you can make an informed decision based on your specific health situation and treatment goals. 

Who is a good candidate for SRT for skin cancer?

SRT could be an ideal option if you're dealing with non-melanoma skin cancer. This is especially true if your cancer is in areas where cosmetic outcomes are a concern, such as your face, neck, or hands. 

It's also a great choice if you’re not a good candidate for surgery because of health reasons or if you simply prefer a non-surgical approach. However, the best way to determine if SRT for skin cancer is right for you is by consulting with a dermatologist who specializes in skin cancer treatments.

If you think SRT might be right for you, the next step is to reach out to a skin cancer specialist at HK Dermatology. We provide personalized advice and treatment guidance based on your unique needs. 

Learn if SRT for skin cancer is right for you by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California.

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