So electronic brachytherapy uses precisely targeted low energy x-rays designed to concentrate the energy within the first few millimeters of tissue. This minimizes or eliminates entirely any risk to deep muscle or other critical organs. By way of comparison, the x-rays you might receive in a dentist office are typically almost twice as strong as what we use with our patients.
With each treatment a micro-miniaturized x-ray tube, only slightly bigger than a grain of rice, is gently placed directly on the lesion itself and because the x-rays are generated electronically, there is no risk of any radioactivity being left in the patient’s body after treatment.
The treatment itself is fast, typically five minutes or less, and painless. Patients experience none of the side effects that they might otherwise experience with other forms of radiation therapy or even chemotherapy.
Electronic brachytherapy is given twice a week for a total of eight visits, unlike other methods, which can take up to six weeks and require daily visits. People can continue to work, drive, play throughout their treatment without the usual limitations. And unlike surgery, no injections or incisions are required. The cure rate is close to 100%, and the cosmetic results are generally considered to be excellent.
Arizona Dermatology was the first dermatology practice in the Southwest to offer this treatment. We’re the only practice in Arizona to employ our own full-time radiation oncologist, a nationally known physicist, and a staff specifically trained in the delivery of electronic brachytherapy. We deliver over 2,000 treatments a year, making us one of the most experienced brachytherapy skin cancer clinics in the world. I’d encourage anybody looking for an effective, pain-free alternative for squamous and basal cell cancers of the skin to give us a call.