Skin cancer treatment in Australia: innovative radiotherapy at Icon Cancer Centers
- 13 September
- Diagnosis & Treatment
765 thousand people annually apply for the skin cancer treatment in Australia, which is catastrophic number for 24 million contry.
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, modern surgical techniques - Australian doctors successfully treat melanoma and non-melanomatous tumors.
Skin cancer develops as a result of DNA damage by ultraviolet or other aggressive factors.
According to statistics, 95% of skin tumors in Australia are caused by exposure to UV.
Despite the natural risk factors, Aussies widely use tanning beds adding chances to get melanoma.
Thanks to screening and highly effective treatment strategies, the number of deaths from skin cancer hardly exceeds 2000 per year. But still there are some advanced and complex cases, when standard treatment is insufficient.
HDR brachytherapy and VMAT: future of radiotherapyNew methods of radiotherapy for skin cancer provided by Icon Cancer Centers significantly increase cure rate. Radiotherapy in Australia is widely used to treat localized skin tumors. Such sophisticated machines as Esteya Superficial Brachytherapy System established in Brisbane allow oncologists to successfully remove skin lesions in the early stages with excellent aesthetic results.
High-dose rate electronic brachytherapy (HDR) concentrates radiation strictly on the surface of lesions. Due to high accuracy, surrounding tissues are exposed to minimal radiation dose. Squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, as well as a rare Merkel-cell carcinoma in the initial stages demonstrate excellent response to HDR brachytherapy.
For advanced tumors that grow deeply into tissues, Australian doctors propose volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) using powerful linear accelerators. VMAT means unprecedented accuracy, which makes possible to irradiate complex tumors without affecting surrounding tissues.
According to Professor Matthew Foote, new linear accelerators provide safe and highly effective treatment thanks to accurate, targeted irradiation.
Due to minimization of hematologic side effects, patients can continue taking anticoagulants like Warfarin without fear of bleeding.
This non-invasive procedure takes less than half an hour. The treatment course is always personally tailored for each patient, depending on the type and the stage of disease. With advanced tumors, radiotherapy usually involves up to three dozen procedures. Small superficial tumors at an early stage can be destroyed in just 4-5 sessions.
Professor claims that superficial radiation therapy is the best option for patients with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma who can not tolerate surgical intervention.
Volumetric modulated arc therapy is a valuable adjuvant treatment in complex and advanced cases. Studies show that radiotherapy significantly reduces the risk of cancer recurrence after surgery.
Radiation therapy at Icon Cancer Centers, AustraliaIcon Cancer Centers is the leading private network of clinics in the eastern coast of Australia.
Their radiation oncology centers are located in Cairns, Gosford, Greenslops, Maroochydore, Springfield and other cities. The successful network is continuously expanding. More than 70 highly qualified doctors annually treat up to 80,000 patients.
Radiotherapy techniques available at Icon Cancer Centers:
⦁ External radiation therapy (EBRT)
⦁ Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
⦁ Image-guided radiation therapy
⦁ Volumetric modulated arc therapy
⦁ Electronic HDR brachytherapy
⦁ Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT)
⦁ Tomotherapy and others.
The network specializes in oncohematology and treatment of malignant skin tumors. Patients of radiation oncology centers can try the latest advances in radiotherapy and even take part in clinical trials of experimental treatment regimens sponsored by the Icon Cancer Foundation.
Freedom from cancer and excellent cosmetic resultsIn past decades, radiotherapy often left scars after treatment. Many Australians still live with cosmetic defects warning their friends about consequences. But modern computer controlled technologies provide freedom from cancer with excellent cosmetic results.
You can now undergo irradiation of large skin surfaces without fear of lifelong ugly scars.
HDR electronic brachytherapy makes treatment less painful. Patients experience minor discomfort, which does not require anesthesia. After the session, only a small red spot ("sunburn") remains on the body. Targeted irradiation is incredibly safe. Ten years ago it was fantastic.
Treating patients with advanced melanoma, Icon Cancer Centers closely cooperate with their colleagues (medical oncologists and surgeons), providing complex treatment and comprehensive monitoring. Professor Foote says that multidisciplinary approach guarantees optimal results in terms of survival, safety and quality of life.
Each cancer is unique. Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma in early stages are successfully treated with radiotherapy in 95% cases. In later stages, surgery and chemotherapy in combination with radiation give much higher chance of recovery. In each case, Australian oncologists apply the best, time-tested method.