All transplant patients have a greater chance of developing skin cancer compared to the general population. In fact, research shows that transplant recipients have up to a 100 times higher risk for developing skin cancer compared to the general population. Transplant patients tend to develop a skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) although many patients will also develop a different type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
In Jeff Goldstein’s case, he developed both skin cancers following a double lung transplant. Though, his immune-compromised condition was not the sole cause of his multiple skin cancers. Growing up in the heart of Miami, he spent a lot of time outdoors as a child. Unfortunately, however, he did not wear sunscreen. Back then, he says, “it wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, and it wasn’t shared through the news like it is today.” So, for Jeff, the accumulation of sun exposure alongside his immune-compromised condition led to him having undergone over 50 Mohs surgeries.
During this time, Jeff also experienced a physical tumor on his right ear, which doctors were concerned could grow down his ear canal and into his brain. Because of potential implications doctors were insistent upon a complete right auralectomy — removal of all internal organs of the right ear. At the time, Jeff thought there could be another way, but without the knowledge of Superficial Radiation Therapy he wasn’t able to more thoroughly explore all available options.
Now, after receiving multiple surgeries for tumors and multiple radiation therapies in a hospital setting, Jeff reflects on his past surgeries and what he would do differently had he had known about SRT.
“[Had I known about SRT] I know I would’ve chosen to do that first. I believe it would’ve been effective, and if that were the case, I would still have my right ear and I would still have hearing on that side of my head. SRT is invaluable for treating areas that you might feel are more appropriate for you and might be easier for you. The process is a lot simpler than typical radiation that you might have post-surgery at a hospital—it’s quicker, it’s a lot less ‘vassive,’ and it’s a lot easier to deal with. And, I might add, it’s very comfortable!”
Jeff now understands the many benefits of SRT, because he uses SRT to treat any unsightly scarring and any recurring skin lesions or problems. Watch the video below to learn more about Jeff’s story and his trust in SRT.