New option for skin cancer patients

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For the first time in Australia, a new type of skin cancer treatment is on offer to patients at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

The Esteya Skin Brachytherapy is a non-invasive form of radiation therapy which produces low energy x-rays to treat superficial skin cancers less than 5mm in thickness and up to 2cm in diameter.

The technology gives patients another early intervention choice in the treatment of their non-melanoma skin cancers.

The first patient in Australia to use the machine is Gold Coast woman Susan Leigh-Smith who signed up for six treatment sessions at Greenslopes Private Hospital.

“So far, so good. I can’t fault it,” said Ms Leigh-Smith, who has a Basal Cell Carcinoma on her nose.

She chose this option to avoid surgery so she could continue taking her prescribed blood thinners.

The skin brachytherapy service, provided by Radiation Oncology Centres, also offers good cosmetic outcomes for areas such as the nose, cheek and lips.

Radiation oncologist Professor Michael Poulsen said this is the first in Australia and the eleventh in the world.

“The machine has been developed over many years and involves unique software which makes it very safe to deliver superficial radiation treatment for skin cancer patients.

“It’s only available for very superficial skin cancers so many skin cancers will not be eligible.”

Cancer Council Queensland says more than 350,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated every year in the sunshine state.

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