More information about the Just Skin approach
Yes, but with a very important difference.
Superficial radiotherapy is X–ray therapy using ionising radiation (the conversion or removal of electrons from atoms). It does require all the precautions associated with radiation, but that is where the similarities stops.
Unlike the (megavoltage) radiation that is used in other cancer treatments, superficial radiotherapy is much safer. It uses lower energy and because of this, it only treats skin deep. This is enough to target SCC and BCC but spares the deeper underlying tissue, giving our therapy the advantage over other radiation treatments.
Superficial radiotherapy can’t harm you beyond the impact it has on affected skin cells. Even if you were accidentally exposed to a massive dose of this therapy, your skin would still be the only affected. Superficial radiotherapy is never lethal but, as a common warning, long-term exposure to X-rays may be harmful. That is why we ensure that every treatment is perfect and is tailored as much as possible to your individual circumstances.
Your health is in our best interest. We would not be offering any treatment that is potentially harmful.
It is possible to treat skin cancers with a single treatment but this is not the best, nor the most appropriate solution. The more treatments applied, the smaller the chance of scarring. Therefore, our standard therapy is provided over 2 – 4 weeks to minimise the impact.
We understand that each person and their circumstance is different, which means we will happily to work around your needs.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your account; however, Medicare goes a long way to helping with the cost.
Medicare has a number of benefits, and we are happy to explain this further if required.
The cost of treatment depends on the number of treatments you need, the amount of Medicare contribution and the Medicare safety net. We like to ensure we offer value and as such, are convinced our pricing options will suit your budget.
We don’t offer bulk billing as we do not believe it offers the value you deserve. We are, however, happy to work out the best option for you. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear how affordable we are in comparison to other treatment options.
The effects of treatment depend on a number of factors. Typically, the skin may be red and uncomfortable for about 2 weeks once the treatment finishes. The skin may form a protective scab and after this has lifted off, new skin, minus the cancer, should be evident.
There are long-term effects of treatment, usually minor and very mild, but may include pigment changes, thinning of the skin, hair loss or very rarely, scarring. Our goal is to offer you cancer treatment with an excellent long-term outcome.
In the 2 – 5% of cases where superficial therapy doesn’t work, the skin cancer will return. This can’t be retreated with superficial radiotherapy and surgery will be required.
The purpose of superficial radiotherapy is to avoid surgery and it does this effectively in 95 – 98% of skin cancers.
We are always ready to help if you have any questions.
We have included a number of links to skin cancer websites for your reference. We do, however, prefer you to ask your doctor or talk to us about your skin cancer treatment options rather than relying on ‘Dr Google’.
We believe this treatment option is best if you:
- are older (+60)
- have lesions in cosmetically sensitive areas such as ears, eyelids, or on the nose
- are on anti-clotting medication such as Aspirin or Warfarin
- have skin cancers on the lower legs with medical concerns about wound healing
- have adverse pathology after surgery
- wish to avoid surgery as a personal preference
- have other skin malignancies such as lymphoma
- have keloids/hypertrophic scars
Superficial radiotherapy can be seen as an inconvenience as it requires a number of short treatments. It is painless and after the daily treatment is finished, there are no limitations to your activity.
- continue to drive, provided you have a licence
- interact with pregnant mums and small children; there is no ongoing risk after treatment
- do all your daily activities such as shop or play golf
Please discuss any concerns regarding your specific activities with the doctor or nurse as there may be some that require special consideration.
Superficial radiotherapy is discouraged in the following circumstances:
- in areas where radiation has been used before
- with certain connective tissue diseases such as Lupus
- if there is no biopsy report to confirm a diagnosis of skin cancer; unless there is a confident diagnosis from an expert dermatologist or skin cancer doctor
- in the primary treatment of melanoma
- if it is a personal preference not to have it
- if it isn’t the right treatment for you, based on clinical and other factors as determined by us and/or your referring doctor