Fighting Skin Cancer With Radiation
New therapies offer alternative to surgery.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, affecting more than two million Americans each year.
Treatment usually involves painful surgery to remove layers of cancerous skin, leaving patients with a lot of downtime, scarring and fear.
No a new breakthrough treatment is being used that avoids those troubles.
Dr. Seth Forman is the first board certified dermatologist in the Tampa, Florida area to bring radiation therapy to target skin cancer, finally giving patients another option.
"They're sick and tired of having surgery. They're sick and tired of getting cut, they're sick and tired of the bleeding," he says.
Jadene Scott is a liver transplant patient, and because of the anti-rejection medications she has to take, her skin cancer rates shot up.
She was constantly having to face surgeries to cut and freeze layers of skin.
It got to be so painful she threw in the towel.
"I avoided it because it hurt so much to have it cut or freezing," she says.
Now thanks to Dr. Foreman her road to recovery is a lot smoother.
"It's like blinking my eye and I'm done - no pain, no itching, no swelling, no nothing," she says.
"This is more or like going to a dentist and having x-rays taken on your teeth," says fellow patient David Milroy.
Milroy at one time had to be admitted to the hospital to cut out lesions.
Now he's treated in 90 seconds.
Cones are used to helps pinpoint the radiation exactly where it needs to go, delivering the exact doses needed to cure skin cancer.
"The data support that this has as good of clearance rate as surgery," says Dr. Forman.
The hope is the painless procedure will keep patients coming in for monitoring and treatment.