May 20, 2011
There's a new option for skin cancer patients who would rather not go under the knife.
A radiation treatment that may help patients leave any scars behind.
49-year-old Scotch Wilks was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma.
Treatment for this kind of cancer is usually a procedure that involves cutting through layers of skin to remove all the cancerous tissue.
His quest for treatment options led him to the Farber Center for Radiation Oncology in New York City and another option: Brachitherapy.
Studies show Brachitherapy is just as effective for treating certain skin cancers as surgery.
Dr. Farber uses CT scans and computer technology to determine the depth of the tumor.
He then marks out exactly where to place the radiation seeds for treatment.
The length of treatment is longer with radiation therapy than with the surgical option.
In Scotch's case he received radiation treatments twice a week for four weeks and in the end without a scar.
Some patients experience scabbing and changes in skin color that usually go away after completing treatment.