An excellent alternative to surgery for the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, as well as other skin disorders, Olympic Dermatology was first in our area to offer Brachytherapy to patients.
What is Brachytherapy?
Olympic Dermatology is the first medical office in Western Washington to offer Brachytherapy, also known as electronic skin cancer therapy. We’re performing this breakthrough treatment for our skin cancer patients with a 95-98% success rate and a high level of satisfaction.
“I was comfortable and cared for by Dr. Brazil at my follow up appointment to treat basal cell skin cancer with Brachytherapy.”
— Olympic Dermatology medical patient, October 2018
This skin cancer therapy is just one example of patient choice, convenience and efficacy. A low voltage radiation treatment with little to no scarring, Brachytherapy reduces the number of treatments from around 30, for conventional radiation therapy, to eight spaced twice weekly for a month. It’s another successful option for patients with:
- High-risk basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas
- Lower risk cancers and poor wound healing characteristics
- A preference for non-surgical and reconstructive therapies
What Does Brachytherapy Treat?
Brachytherapy is an excellent alternative to surgery for the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, as well as other skin disorders. This non-invasive form of radiation therapy is good for patients who are not suitable candidates for surgery, including those with lesions in difficult to treat locations or who require blood thinning medication.
An attractive alternative for patients who have had multiple skin cancer surgeries, our patients frequently choose it when tissue preservation is critical for functional or cosmetic reasons. Good for challenging areas, such as eyelids, nose, ears and lips, Brachytherapy can be used to treat skin cancers on almost all other parts of the body.
It’s different from other forms of radiation therapy for treating skin cancer. First, the lower energy, miniaturized X-ray allows the treatment to take place in a minimally shielded setting at our office. This way your patient care team can be alongside you during the and visually monitor the applicator set-up and entire procedure. This increases your comfort, cooperation and improves tumor targeting. Second, there is no radioactive isotope so no need for detailed safety procedures to ensure radiation security.
What Can I Expect with Brachytherapy?
Your Brachytherapy treatment plan is laid out by a radiation oncologist who is part of your care team and supervises your first treatment. Dr. Brazil supervises the remaining seven. We’ll also do a follow up exam with you three to six months afterwards. There’s no special preparation for your treatments, which take fewer than five minutes, and are scheduled twice a week for a month. During your treatment, healthy tissue surrounding the cancer lesion is protected with shielding specifically designed for you.