Marcia is 74 years old and a great-grandmother from Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Last year, she noticed bleeding from a tiny spot on the tip of her nose. At her next appointment, she had her dermatologist, Dr. John Binhlam, take a closer look. He did a biopsy on the spot, and she was diagnosed with an invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the nasal tip. After a discussion of Mohs micrographic surgery versus nonsurgical superficial radiation therapy (SRT), Marcia chose to have the latter treatment done using the RADiant system at his office, Advanced Skin & Laser Center in Brentwood, Tennessee.
I’m retired and live in a small town. I enjoy a laid back country lifestyle, with hours spent mowing the lawn or spending my days with my young great-grandchildren. I see the dermatologist regularly to care for my eczema and monitor my medication. A year ago, I noticed a spot that had started bleeding occasionally. Being a frequent patient, I mentioned it at my next appointment. He was able to test it right away and a biopsy came back as an invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the nasal tip.
The spot was so small – really just the size of the head of a sewing push pin, and maybe a freckle color. I might not have noticed it at all if it hadn’t started bleeding. I have been Dr. Binhlam’s patient for more than three years and he knows me well. He reviewed all the treatment options with me and based on a number of factors unique to me, he recommended superficial radiation therapy (SRT) treatment. He had such confidence in SRT as a reasonable alternative to surgery for my SCC that I agreed right away.
I began SRT using the RADiant system from Xstrahl. The treatment cycle was 17 treatments, but the sessions were only a matter of seconds! I sat in a chair for the treatment. The medical staff used eye, nose, neck and body shields to protect me, and brought the machine over and made sure it was in just the right spot. Then the medical team stepped out of the room for the therapy, and came right back in. It takes no time, with no heat or discomfort during the procedure. I had no side effects at all during the entire SRT series – no redness or irritation. And, I was assured that once the treatment course was over, I would not need follow-up treatments outside of my regular office visits.
It was a very easy process and I drove country roads an hour to each of the appointments. I’m retired now and take extra precautions in the sun with sunscreen and a hat, but we didn’t think about that when we were younger. I have a friend who had a similar thing just off the tip of her nose and she had it removed surgically. That worked for her, but I’m happy that I went with SRT for me.
RADiant is a small, easy-to-position radiation therapy system that enables dermatologists to deliver non-invasive treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer in the office. It is perfectly suited for sensitive areas, including hard-to-reach areas on the head and neck. RADiant provides both superficial radiation therapy and electronic brachytherapy based on the needs of the patient.