Brachytherapy: How It Works For Skin Cancer

Will brachytherapy work for my skin cancer?Many individuals tend to overlook the risk of skin cancer. Either they don’t understand the implications of their decisions while under the sun, or they think all stages of skin cancer are easily treatable—but this is a huge misconception. Currently impacting around 3.5 million people per year, skin cancer is the country’s most common form of cancer. And although you never plan on being impacted, it’s important to be prepared and educated on treatment options should that day ever come.

That’s where we step in. As one of the top dermatologist practices in Phoenix, we’re the most trustworthy resource for your skin cancer needs.

When it comes to treating skin cancer, we suggest keeping these options in mind:

Each treatment is proven to be successful for treating skin cancer. But for the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on brachytherapy. As the first office to offer this treatment in the state of Arizona, we’re sharing everything a patient should know about brachytherapy.

Follow along to learn how brachytherapy works, to learn if it’s the right option for you, and what to expect before, during, and after your treatment.

How does brachytherapy work?

Brachytherapy is a non-surgical treatment option that reaps highly successful results. Using state-of-the-art technology, it works both efficiently and effectively to treat skin cancer.

The premise of brachytherapy is centered upon the logic of using low-energy x-rays within a short distance of your skin. The low-energy x-rays are generated electronically, eliminating the risk of radioactivity caused by other x-ray treatments. The short proximity of energy strategically works to penetrate the first few millimeters of skin tissue.

With each treatment, a micro-miniaturized x-ray tube is placed upon the lesion. The tube, only slightly bigger than a grain of rice, effectively targets cancerous tissue while providing you with a comfortable treatment session. To put things into perspective, the x-rays used at your dentist office are twice as strong as those used with brachytherapy, proving the pain-free, yet powerful, treatment you can look forward to.

How do I know if brachytherapy is right for me?

We pride ourselves on the successful, comforting characteristics of brachytherapy. With a cure rate of almost 100%, it’s one of our top recommendations for treating skin cancer. Yet, we understand that Brachytherapy may not be for everyone, therefore it’s important to know if it’s the best option for you before making any immediate treatment decisions.

As a rule of thumb, brachytherapy may be the best solution to your skin cancer if you’ve been diagnosed with squamous or basal cell cancer.

However, the best way to determine if brachytherapy is right for you is to set up a consultation appointment with one of our top dermatologists. Before making any decisions, we’ll take the time to hear your needs, create a custom treatment option, and address any questions and concerns you may have. By putting you first, you’ll have a better journey to healthier skin, from beginning to end.

What should I expect?

If we determine that brachytherapy is the best treatment for you, we’ll assist you in scheduling your first appointment.

At this point, it’s completely normal for some questions and concerns to arise. We’re here to put any and all of your worries to rest so you’re taken care of in a professional and compassionate fashion. Here you will find information about what to expect before, during, and after your brachytherapy treatment.

Before your treatment

Brachytherapy is one of our top recommendations for treating skin cancer because of its hassle-free, pain-free, and successful characteristics.

Upon arriving to your appointment, you’ll be greeted by one of our friendly doctors. Before beginning, we’ll make sure you feel comfortable and confident about the procedure. Once you feel ready, the treatment will begin.

During your treatment

Brachytherapy is a non-invasive treatment that takes about five minutes (or less) to complete. During your treatment, we’ll place a micro-miniaturized tube gently to the lesion. The tube then releases concentrated energy that penetrates cancerous tissue at a low impact—which is completely pain-free.

Brachytherapy is also a hassle-free treatment. On average, the treatment is given twice a week, for a total of eight visits. Other radiation methods can take up to six weeks with regular daily visits. With brachytherapy, you could be in and out and on your way to a life with less risk of cancer in no time.

After your treatment

After your treatment, you shouldn’t experience any side effects. You’ll be able to continue with your daily routine immediately after the procedure. There are no usual limitations from brachytherapy and the cosmetic results are excellent.

In addition to no downtime, you should expect a very high cure rate. Although we can’t guarantee your results, over the years, our patients have experienced an average cure rate of 93¬–100%. This has been conclusive across all other clinical organizations. For example, Group Health conducted a study where 122 patients with 171 lesions were treated with brachytherapy. Of those lesions, 100% were cured and no recurrences were observed.

What makes brachytherapy different at Arizona Dermatology?

At Arizona Dermatology, we have one of the most experienced brachytherapy skin cancer clinics in the world. Equipped with a full-time radiation oncologist, nationally known physicist, and staff specialty trained in brachytherapy, we have the knowledge and expertise to produce successful results.

Performing more than 2,000 brachytherapy treatments a year, we’re extremely specialized in what we do. The service that you’ll find at our practice is unparalleled to the competition.

Your next steps

At Arizona Dermatology, we know that discussing—let alone discovering—skin cancer is a scary time for you and your loved ones. We’re here to help you through this process. With the mark of approval from more than 1,500 statewide doctors, we’re a practice that you can trust with your skin cancer journey.

Whether you’re looking to get screened for skin cancer or treated for your already diagnosed condition, we’re here for you. Call us today and schedule a consultation appointment. We’ll be able to get you on the right track to healthy skin.