On Tuesday, October 24, 2011, “The Doctors” TV show aired a segment nationwide about a new skin cancer treatment for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. This treatment option uses low doses of radiation on a targeted area to kill the cancer cells, going no deeper than the skin. Only a few dermatologists are offering this non-surgical treatment for basal cell carcinoma opposed to micrographic surgery, the current standard for treatment, which can take hours to perform.
Seth Forman, M.D. practices dermatology in Tampa, FL and demonstrated the procedure on his patient Betty for the show. From patient Betty’s perspective, the treatment is like having an x-ray – it’s painless and over within 45 seconds. She will need multiple treatments to destroy her cancer – 12 times over a 4 week span. There are no shots, no blades, no bleeding, no stitches, not even a band-aid.
Watch the “Low Dose Radiation Treatment” segment from “The Doctors.”
To find out more about low dose radiation and other treatment options for basal cell carcinoma, visit http://www.skincancer.org/bcc-treatment-options.html.
Dr. Drew Ordon, an expert on “The Doctors”, also took advantage of the opportunity to talk about prevention. His advice:
1) Try to avoid daytime sunlight, between the hours of 10-4 avoid mid-day sun.
2) Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen – at least SPF 15, we recommend [broad-spectrum] SPF 30 and to be generous with application using a shot glass full and re-apply every two hours.
Finally what you can do is…
3) Wear protective clothing – UPF 50+, it blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is a great way to go because you can’t get sunscreen everywhere.