Over one million basal and squamous cell skin cancers cases are diagnosed in the US every year. Another 65,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year. These cancers are most often curable, if they are detected early.
Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is the precise use of radiation to treat many different types of skin cancer. Trained and experienced treatment providers may utilize radiation therapy to target skin cancer, to restrict cancer growth or to alleviate symptoms such as pain.
Radiation therapy works inside cancer cells by destroying their multiplying abilities. The body naturally removes these cells when they die. In this process, the cells that are healthy and grow and divide rapidly are also destroyed by radiation. However, they can repair themselves in a manner that cancer cells cannot.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides advanced treatments for skin cancer to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding locations across the horizon.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
- External beam radiation therapy addresses the skin cancer itself or alleviates pain from cancer that has spread.
- Radiation oncologists administer external beam radiation therapy to cancer from a machine placed outside the body.
- Skin cancer is frequently treated with superficial types of radiation. That implies that the radiation penetrates only a brief distance beneath the surface.
- Doctors aim the radiation beams at the tumor. This enables them to provide more radiation to the skin cancer while ensuring that it stays away from the underlying organs.
- The treatment sessions are typically scheduled daily, Monday through Friday, for many weeks to deliver radiation to cancer adequately.
- The treatments are pain-free and last for up to 30 minutes each, beginning to end.
- The patient’s treatment schedule depends on the type of cancer, usually requiring treatment every day for 1 or more weeks.
- Radiation therapy is frequently given to complement chemotherapy, surgery or biologic therapy.
Skin High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy may be used to address skin cancer and reduce the amount of radiation and side effects on the surrounding normal tissues.
Treatment for Skin Cancer
The treatment a patient receives depends on many factors such as the overall health condition, stage of cancer, and whether cancer has spread to other areas of the body. The treatments are frequently administered in combination and may include the following:
- Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by X-rays.
- Surgery enables the cutting out and elimination of cancer cells.
- Moh’s surgery, a microscopic surgery, enables surgeons to eliminate small cancerous tissue while preserving normal tissue.
- Cryosurgery freezes and removes cancer.
- Laser surgery kills cancer by laser beams.
- Electrodessication involves drying cancer with an electric current and then removing it.
- In chemotherapy, the cancer cells are destroyed by using a medication which is either taken internally or applied to the skin.
- Biologic therapy is a treatment in which doctors assist the patient’s immune system to fight better with cancer.
- In photodynamic therapy, the cancer is treated with a medication which is hypersensitive to a particular type of light. The drug generates a chemical reaction killing surrounding cells when it is exposed to this unique light.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and cities in this region of the Midwest for skin cancer treatments.
If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)
Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.