KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville dermatology office is the first in Tennessee to get a breakthrough treatment for most types of skin cancer.
Dr. Drew Miller, of Dermatology Associates of Knoxville, says the Sensus Healthcare SRT-100 is the quickest and easiest option yet for patients who've been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell skin cancer.
Bill Cross noticed a lesion on his head, that turned out to be basal cell. "What I felt was a dent like a recession in my skull and it seemed to be getting worse," he explained.
The SRT-100 uses superficial radiotherapy that goes no deeper than the thickness of the skin. It literally zaps cancer cells, slowing their growth.
Dr. Miller says even though patients require multiple treatments, it's by far the least invasive option for them.
"Traditional treatment would typically be surgery and for most of the cancers on the head and neck, micrographic surgery takes the better part of the morning, even the whole day," Dr. Miller said.
Cross is relieved he had the option of this new form of treatment. "Oh I think this is excellent," he said. "It doesn't take very long at all. It's comfortable. They're not doing any incisions or anything and the results are going to be great."
Bill Cross has had five treatments so far. He's expected to have a total of eight treatments to eradicate his skin cancer.
The only reminder is a slight redness like a light sunburn that will fade. The treatment works best on patients ages 65 and up.
It's a viable option for diabetics and those on blood thinners who would not do as well in invasive surgery.
It's less expensive than traditional treatment, and most insurance companies cover the procedure.
Each treatment takes up to 90 seconds.
The treatment is not for melanoma, which usually requires more invasive therapy.