Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy (IGSRT) treats two types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. IGSRT kills skin cancer cells using X-ray energy, which lets healthy skin grow back. The treatment is the first and only known skin cancer procedure that harnesses ultrasound images to give Dr. Michael Messina a view of the exact size of the cancer, helping us determine more precise treatment doses. It will also let us see the cancer getting smaller after each treatment to more accurately track the patient’s progress. It is fairly simple and is performed by a radiation therapist in the comfort of our office.
IGSRT is provided in small doses over a longer period of time. Most patients will receive three to five treatments per week for several weeks, totaling to 15 to 20 sessions over the course of the entire treatment. Each treatment session is about 15 minutes. It is a painless treatment, eliminating the need for anesthesia. There are no bleeding or open wounds either, so you can get back to your daily activities and keep doing the things you love throughout the full treatment.
Some potential side effects of IGSRT include mild to moderate irritation, redness, thinning or breakdown of the skin that was treated. If you experience these side effects, they can be treated by Dr. Michael Messina and our team and usually go away within two to six weeks after the treatment ends. Some people may also notice the skin growing darker or lighter, and hair loss may occur in the area treated.
Image-Guided SRT cures over 99% of basal and squamous cell skin cancers, and it is covered by Medicare and most insurances. IGSRT may be the right option for you if you fear surgery, cannot have surgery because of specific health problems, have more than one skin cancers that need to be treated, do not want the side effects of surgery (bleeding, scarring, pain, reconstruction), care about how your skin looks after treatment, and wants to see the cancer shrink and know that it is working.