There are many Knoxville, TN dermatologists and oncologists who can help you with skin cancer treatment. In fact the question of finding the best skin cancer doctor in Knoxville may not even be the right one. Instead, you may want to look for a skin cancer dermatologist near me using the latest skin cancer treatment technology, and that’s the FDA cleared Sensus Healthcare SRT-100 Vision device. This advanced medical instrument is the latest development in the long history of Superficial Radiation Therapy used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer and it’s one that lets your Knoxville skin cancer doctor deliver the best possible cure rates for non-melanoma cancer of the skin.
The SRT-100 Vision is compact enough to be installed in any dermatologist’s office yet it’s a powerful device. Using ultrasound imaging, your doctor can learn the exact size and location of a carcinoma such as is caused by basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. That way the doctor can precisely calibrate just the right dosing of radiation to be delivered to the site of the cancer or precancerous growth. With a number of treatment sessions grouped closely together, Superficial Radiation Therapy can disrupt the DNA of cancer cells, causing them to stop dividing and die off and leaving behind only healthy tissue. The SRT cure rate is 98% for non-melanoma skin cancer.
Still some patients still have concerns about radiation, and it’s important to address those.
While the radiation used to treat internal tumors, such as with breast cancer or prostate cancer, can cause some side effects by damaging healthy tissue, in general Superficial Radiation is completely safe for healthy tissue near the site of the carcinoma. That’s because the radiation truly is skin deep. No waves of charged energy penetrate deeper than five millimeters into the body, so healthy cells beyond the cancer are left untouched. There is almost no pain associated with SRT — few patients ever even request pain management be a part of each session — and the procedure is entirely outpatient, with your life not inhibited save for during the actual administering of the SRT.
For smaller, newly developed non-melanoma cancers, doctors may want to use a removal technique that will quickly and completely take off the cancer quickly. These may include traditional surgery, curettage, or cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen. But for older and larger carcinomas, especially those in sensitive spots like basal cell cancer on the nose or squamous cell cancer on the ears, these techniques may not be ideal.
SRT is often the best option, but another good choice is Mohs surgery.
Mohs surgery, or Mohs Micrographic Surgery as it is more officially called, was pioneered in the late 1930s and has been popular with skin cancer doctors ever since. The procedure involves using microscope assisted surgery to remove thin layers of tissue from a carcinoma (and sometimes melanoma) site. These layers are then tested as the patent waits and subsequent layers of tissue are excised until sample is found to be cancer free.
The benefits of Mils surgery vs. SRT is that Mohs surgery takes hours, whereas Superficial Radiation Therapy is often spread over several weeks. The problem with Mohs surgery is that, as noninvasive a cancer treatment as it is, it is still surgery, and some patients do not do well with surgical procedures. Given that the cure rate of Mohs surgery and Superficial Radiation Therapy are almost identical, many skin cancer patients in Knoxville, TN choose SRT because it truly is the least invasive treatment with a high success rate.